Mexico’s President-Elect Grounded on Commercial Plane for Hours
López Obrador stills plans to sell the presidential jet as austerity measures
LAHORE MIRROR (Monitoring Desk)– Mexico’s President-elect Andrés Manuel López Obrador still plans to sell the presidential jet after spending three hours grounded on a commercial plane.
Mr López Obrador vowed to press ahead with his plans despite being stuck on the tarmac because of heavy rain.
“I won’t get on the presidential plane,” he said from his seat on the commercial aircraft on Wednesday.
The left-wing leader, who won the presidential election by a landslide in July, will be sworn in in December.
Mexico’s de luxe presidential jet, a Boeing 787 Dreamliner costing $218.7m (£166m), was delivered two years ago after being ordered by former President Felipe Calderón in 2012.
It was said at the time to be the most modern and efficient plane used by any world leader, according to Mashable.
What do Mexicans think?
Mr López Obrador, who has pledged to run an austere government, was one of hundreds of passengers unable to fly from the southern state of Oaxaca to the capital, Mexico City.
Footage from on board the flight and acquired by Reuters news agency shows the president-elect explaining that he would be “embarrassed” to board “a luxurious plane in a country where there is so much poverty”.
“I’m not going to change my mind because of this,” he said, adding: “Enough with this tomfoolery, it’s over, it’s over, any politician who acts arrogantly won’t last.”
News of the incident was met with criticism among some residents of Mexico City.
“I think that if the plane has already been purchased then he should just use it,” said Alejandro Aguilar, adding that it was “not normal” for presidents to be grounded.
Another, Arturo Miranda, said that while the president-elect appeared to be showing empathy with the people, “We would have to ask ourselves how would he travel when he has to attend an international event?”
Along with the sale of the country’s presidential plane, Mr López Obrador has promised to turn the presidential palace into a cultural centre and live in a more modest home, cut the presidential salary, and tackle corruption.
SOURCE: BBC NEWS