Mexico's Next President Will Likely Make History

2 female candidates are set to face off in 2024 election, giving nation its first woman president
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 7, 2023 6:24 AM CDT
Mexico Set to Get Its First Female President
Flanked by party leaders, former Interior Minister Adan Augusto Lopez, left, and Mario Delgado, right, Claudia Sheinbaum celebrates after being elected to be the Morena party candidate for the upcoming national presidential elections, during an event in Mexico City, Wednesday, Sept. 6, 2023.   (AP Photo/Fernando Llano)

Two women will face off to become president of Mexico, "all but guaranteeing that the country's next leader will be the first woman to hold the office," the Hill reports. Mexico's ruling party announced Wednesday that it has chosen former Mexico City Mayor Claudia Sheinbaum as its presidential candidate. Current President Andrés Manuel López Obrador of the ruling National Regeneration Movement (Morena) party remains popular, but is barred from seeking reelection following a six-year term. Mexico's opposition coalition on Sunday announced another woman, Sen. Xóchitl Gálvez, as its candidate in the June 2, 2024, presidential election, meaning Sheinbaum, a 61-year-old physicist and environmentalist, and Gálvez, a 60-year-old computer engineer and businesswoman, will now face off.

Sheinbaum and former Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard were seen as major contenders in the Morena primary, with Sheinbaum viewed as López Obrador's favorite. The party said she was chosen after a "public consult," with results announced late Wednesday. Ebrard, who complained of favoritism towards Sheinbaum, had called for a re-do of the poll even before the result came. He said his team found issues with 14% of ballots cast in the national poll, per the Guardian. He also claimed the party blocked his supporters from observing the ballot count, per the Hill. He later ruled himself out of contention and said he would reveal future plans on Monday. He could try his hand with the center-left Citizens' Movement (MC) party, the "only significant opposition party yet to select a presidential candidate," per Reuters.

While Sheinbaum is considered the favorite, Gálvez's entrance in the race "has upended expectations," per the Guardian. A National Action Party (PAN) senator of Indigenous origin, who represents an alliance of the PAN, the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI), and Party of the Democratic Revolution (PRD), she has "seized media attention with her aspirational story" of overcoming poverty to become a successful entrepreneur. "People fell madly in love" with her, as Joy Langston of the College of Mexico puts it to the Economist. Ebrard's "very public dissent is also an early sign of the trouble Sheinbaum may face to maintain cohesion within the Morena party," the Guardian notes. Sheinbaum called for "unity" Wednesday as Morena's national board touted the integrity of its candidate selection process. (More Mexico stories.)

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