Mexico’s Historic Presidential Election: Two Female Candidates

Image Credit: Deccan Herald

Mexico’s governing party, Morena, has nominated Claudia Sheinbaum and created history by offering Mexican voters the choice between two leading female candidates in the upcoming presidential election. Claudia Sheinbaum, a 61-year-old physicist with a doctorate in environmental engineering, secured the party’s nomination. She is a protege of Mexico’s current president, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, and is expected to enjoy the advantage of his high approval ratings. Sheinbaum will face off against Xóchitl Gálvez, a 60-year-old engineer with Indigenous roots who has risen from poverty to become a tech entrepreneur and a prominent figure in the opposition.

The prospect of two female presidential candidates represents an extraordinary change in Mexico’s political landscape, according to political scientist Jesús Silva-Herzog Márquez. While López Obrador has stated that he will retire completely after his term, some analysts believe his influence will endure. If Sheinbaum wins, there may be some changes in policies, but the broader agenda will likely remain intact.

Both Sheinbaum and Gálvez are socially progressive and hold engineering degrees. They also support the decriminalization of abortion, a position recently reinforced by Mexico’s Supreme Court. Sheinbaum would become Mexico’s first Jewish president if elected. She has faced a misinformation campaign falsely claiming that she was born in Bulgaria, which supporters have labeled as antisemitic.

Sheinbaum has demonstrated loyalty to López Obrador, but she has also signaled potential changes, particularly in renewable energy policy. Gálvez, on the other hand, emphasizes her Indigenous roots and focuses on addressing social and economic inequality.

The 2024 general election will not only determine Mexico’s next president but also the composition of Congress. It could also decide whether Mexico returns to a dominant-party system similar to the era of the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI). Morena’s recent victory in the State of Mexico’s governor’s race, which brought its control to 23 out of 32 states, suggests a reconfiguration of Mexican politics, potentially shaping the country’s political landscape for years to come.

Re-reported from the article originally published in Deccan Herald

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