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LA STAMPA

Papal Predictions: Black Smoke Through Wednesday Paves Way For Outsiders

How long the conclave lasts is often an indicator of who is likely to walk out as Pope. The favorites are typically elected quickly, and deadlocks can lead to a surprise compromise candidate.

Scanning white smoke throughout history
Scanning white smoke throughout history
Vdp
Andrea Tornielli

VATICAN CITY - Even this time, the duration of conclave matters. A short election, concluding within a day or two, will show that one candidate has been stronger than the others since the outset. A longer election, however, could bring some surprises.

There are cardinals who aren’t expecting a short conclave, like the last one in 2005. Then, the cardinals closed themselves inside the Sistine Chapel in the late afternoon of Monday, April 18. The first "fumata" was black, and the votes widely dispersed. The only cardinal to come out with any significant "packet" of consensus was the 78-year-old German Cardinal, who would later described himself as “a humble worker in the vineyard of the Lord.”

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Geopolitics

AMLO Power Grab: Mexico's Electoral Reform Would Make Machiavelli Proud

Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, aka AMLO, says his plans to reform the electoral system are a way to save taxpayer money. A closer look tells a different story.

President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador of Mexico votes

Luis Rubio

OpEd-

MEXICO CITY — For supporters of Mexico's President Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO) the goal is clear: to keep power beyond the 2024 general election, at any price. Finally, the engineers of the much-touted Fourth Transformation, ALMO's 2018 campaign promise to do away with the privileged abuses that have plagued Mexican politics for decades, are showing their colors.

Current electoral laws date back to the 1990s, when unending electoral disputes were a constant of every voting round and impeded effective governance in numerous states and districts. The National Electoral Institute (INE) and its predecessor, the IFE, were created to solve once and for all those endemic disputes.

Their promoters hoped Mexico could expect a more honest future, with the electoral question resolved. The 2006 presidential elections, which included AMLO as a recalcitrant loser, showed this was hoping for too much. That election is also, remotely, at the source of the president's new electoral initiative.

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