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  • Lopez Obrador from Morena currently leads the Mexican presidential election opinion polls.

    Lopez Obrador from Morena currently leads the Mexican presidential election opinion polls. | Photo: Reuters

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The leftist candidate is due to meet the presidents of Chile and Ecuador in the coming weeks.

Mexico's presidential hopeful, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, will begin a South American tour prior to the 2018 election, according to El Universal.

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Next week Lopez Obrador is due to hold talks with the Chilean President Michelle Bachelet and her recently-elected Ecuadorean counterpart, Lenin Moreno.

Moreno and Lopez Obrador will discuss regional integration as well as political, economic and social issues, an official source told ANDES.

The veteran Mexican politician will also meet representatives from social and political organizations in El Salvador, Chile and Ecuador. 

In August, he will travel to the United States to launch his book which rejects the U.S. President Donald Trump's proposal to expand and strengthen the border wall with Mexico.

On Thursday, Lopez Obrador dismissed criticism levelled against him by the Mexican right-wing, connecting his party to the Venezuelan government. 

"They want to scare us by saying that if we win we will become Venezuela," Lopez Obrador said.

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The leader of Morena, the acronym for the National Regeneration Movement, has been gaining ground he launched his campaign last November, his third attempt at taking office.

A former mayor of Mexico City, Lopez Obrador finished runner-up in the last two presidential polls before breaking with his longtime base, the center-left Party of the Democratic Revolution, PRD, to establish Morena in 2014.

He ran for president with the PRD in 2006 against Felipe Calderon and again in 2012 against Enrique Pena Nieto, both from the Institutional Revolutionary Party, PRI, in controversial and contested elections.

For the upcoming vote in 2018, he has promised not to align himself with any other traditional parties.

Lopez Obrador seeks to end nine decades of almost uninterrupted rule by the PRI, which is currently led by President Enrique Pena Nieto. 

Recent polls show he is the favorite candidate, scoring 30 to 33 percent of the voters' first preference.

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