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Mexico Poised to Elect Its First Female President in 2024

by Rahil M
0 comment

Mexico is on the cusp of making history by electing its first female president in the upcoming 2024 elections, as both the ruling Morena party and a prominent opposition coalition have nominated women as their candidates.

Morena’s Candidate: Claudia Sheinbaum

Former Mexico City mayor Claudia Sheinbaum emerged as Morena’s candidate, despite last-minute objections from runner-up Marcelo Ebrard. Sheinbaum, a climate scientist turned politician, is widely believed to be the preferred choice of Mexico’s current president, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, who is unable to seek re-election.

Sheinbaum presents herself as a continuity candidate and is expected to benefit from López Obrador’s enduring popularity and the support of the state apparatus during the campaign. While Morena initially seemed assured of victory in the 2024 elections, recent developments have altered the political landscape.

The Rise of Xóchitl Gálvez in the Opposition

Senator Xóchitl Gálvez has emerged as the opposition’s candidate, representing a broad coalition that includes the PAN, PRI, and PRD – the country’s three oldest mainstream parties. Gálvez, a businesswoman who became a senator in 2018, has captured media attention with her inspirational life story, which includes growing up with an Indigenous father and mestizo mother in Hidalgo state. She worked her way through public university, entered business, and eventually ventured into politics.

The opposition’s candidate selection process, intended to showcase transparency and public participation, did not proceed entirely smoothly. The final consultation was never conducted due to the withdrawal of another candidate, Beatriz Paredes, effectively handing the candidacy to Gálvez.

Challenges and Controversies

Both Sheinbaum and Gálvez faced controversies during their candidate selection processes. Ebrard, Morean’s runner-up, accused the party of favoritism toward Sheinbaum, alleging anomalies in the national poll conducted by Morena to decide the candidacy. Despite Ebrard’s calls to redo the process, his demands went unheeded, and he ruled himself out of contention for Morena.

With the candidacies confirmed, it appears increasingly likely that Mexico’s next president will be a woman, marking a historic moment in the country’s politics. Sheinbaum remains the favorite to win, given her association with López Obrador and his enduring popularity.

Challenges Ahead

For Sheinbaum, maintaining cohesion within the Morena party once López Obrador leaves power may be a significant challenge, as evidenced by Ebrard’s public dissent. López Obrador has played a unifying role within the party, and his departure in less than 12 months could test its unity.

On the other hand, Gálvez faces the task of converting media buzz into nationwide electoral support. While she has gained attention, a substantial portion of the population still does not know her. As a candidate of Mexico’s traditional parties, she could be vulnerable to accusations of being backed by corporate interests. However, her clean record in politics and support for progressive policies on issues like the environment, abortion, and LGBTQ+ rights may appeal to a broad spectrum of voters.

The Path Forward

As Mexico prepares for the 2024 elections, both candidates face unique challenges and opportunities. Sheinbaum carries the banner of Morena and López Obrador’s legacy, while Gálvez represents a diverse opposition coalition. The Mexican electorate will ultimately decide the country’s next leader, marking a historic moment as Mexico potentially elects its first female president.

In a political landscape shaped by evolving ideologies and shifting alliances, the outcome of the 2024 elections will undoubtedly have a profound impact on Mexico’s future. The nation’s choice will determine not only its next leader but also the direction it takes on critical issues facing society. As election day approaches, all eyes will be on Mexico as it takes a significant step toward gender equality in its highest political office. The world will be watching to see which candidate resonates most with the Mexican people and what vision they have for their country’s future.

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