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Mexican Front-Runner Promotes 'Well-Being of the Soul'

Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador holds his hand out to take an oath as he is named the presidential candidate for the MORENA political party in Mexico City, Feb. 18, 2018.

Religion has been the electrified ``third rail'' of Mexican politics since anti-clerical laws in the 1920s sparked a bloody uprising by Catholics in which thousands died.

But this week, front-running presidential candidate Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador not only brushed that third rail, he grabbed it firmly with both hands and held on.

He pledged to seek ``not only material well-being, but the well-being of the soul'' if elected in the July 1 elections.

Lopez Obrador spoke Tuesday at a ceremony to accept the nomination of the tiny Social Encounter Party, which is heavily influenced by evangelical churches.

Lopez Obrador's main campaign theme has long been the fight against corruption. He has also long been accused of possessing a kind of messianic zeal and confidence in his own moral compass.