The World: Don Pepe at the Helm

Presidential candidates chosen by Mexico's dominant P.R.I. (Partido Revolucionario Institutional) are as certain of election as machine aldermen in Chicago. For that reason, power tends to drain rapidly from their lameduck predecessors as Presidents-elect stake out their policies. Since he was tapped to succeed Luis Echeverria as Mexico's President 14 months ago, José López Portillo has broken with that tradition. Even though he carried out a grueling 40,600-mile campaign from the oilfields and swamps of Tabasco to the high sierra, "Don Pepe" has promised only to govern by the "laws of the country." His suitably vague campaign slogan: "La solución...

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