López Obrador said that the agreed sale price for the Boeing 787 Dreamliner used by his predecessor Enrique Peña Nieto – but never by him – was about 1.66bn pesos, or about $92m.
The announcement late on Thursday appeared to finally close a political saga that the president – popularly known as Amlo – had used repeatedly to assail the excesses of his predecessors.
In a video accompanying the post, the president said the sale demonstrated how Mexican politics had changed under his leadership.
“It’s important that everyone knows how people thought before, how the authorities acted, like little pharaohs,” he said, sitting in a high leather-backed seat, flanked by officials. “Not any more.”
More details of the sale of the plane to the central Asian country would be disclosed next week, including what he described as the aircraft’s exorbitant maintenance costs.
One of the officials with the president, Jorge Mendoza, head of national development bank Banobras, said the Tajikistan state council that purchased the plane has about 10 days to take possession of it.
The populist leftist who has for decades railed against corruption of political elites, had previously said he hoped to sell the aircraft for at least $150m, down from its original $218m purchase price in 2012.
Shortly after Amlo took office in late 2018, he announced plans to sell the jet, which featured marble touches and official government seals emblazoned on the walls along with multiple flat-screen monitors.
Amlo, who takes commercial flights when he does travel, said the proceeds of the sale would be used to build two 80-bed public hospitals in southern Guerrero and Oaxaca states, among the country’s poorest regions.
“They will be built by military engineers and will be inaugurated before my term ends,” he added.
Source: The Guardian