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– Aljazeera

Mexicans have voted to curb President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador’s power in elections an official forecast of results showed, delivering his Morena party and allies a reduced majority that will make it more difficult to push through substantial reforms.

The National Electoral Institute (INE) on Sunday estimates the ruling coalition will win between 265 and 292 of the 500 seats in the lower house, short of the two-thirds majority needed to push through amendments to the constitution.

Lopez Obrador, who has promised to transform Mexico with an overhaul of politics and the economy, has toyed with constitutional changes to protect state energy companies.

As well as the vote for the lower house of Congress, Mexicans chose 15 state governors and state legislators in Sunday’s race, which is seen as a referendum on Lopez Obrador’s policies and his shake-up of Mexico’s institutions.

Opinion polls in recent days showed Morena winning most of the 15 governors’ races. Results are expected overnight.

The contest has taken place amid the COVID-19 pandemic and a wave of political violence that has seen more than 90 politicians murdered since the electoral process began in September.

Two heads and other human remains were left at polling stations in the Mexican border city of Tijuana on Sunday, authorities said.

An hour after elections got under way, a man hurled a head at one polling station, interrupting the vote as the police were called, prosecutors in the state of Baja California said.

A couple of hours later, at another polling station in the same area, a man left another head and dismembered human remains inside a wooden box placed next to the ballot boxes.

More human remains were discovered in bags near a third polling station, according to the Baja California Prosecutor’s Office.

Since taking office in 2018 after a landslide victory, Lopez Obrador has sought to channel more resources to the poor and key infrastructure projects and expanded the state’s role in the energy industry. He has also reduced government costs.

Critics say he has eroded institutional checks and balances.

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