After the ruling Morena party and the opposition coalition have decided to run female candidates for president in 2024, it is pretty likely that Mexico will elect the country’s first female head of state at that time.
Claudia Sheinbaum, the former mayor of Mexico City, was selected as Morena’s candidate on Wednesday, despite the fact that the runner-up, Marcelo Ebrard, publicly criticized the process at the very last minute and demanded that it be repeated.
A climate scientist by training, Sheinbaum transitioned into politics and was widely regarded to be the preferred option of President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, who is unable to run again. Sheinbaum is a member of the Democratic Socialist Party.
She has positioned herself as a candidate for continuity and stands to benefit during the next campaign from both the lasting popularity of López Obrador and the support of the state machinery. She has also portrayed herself as a contender for continuity.
Up until recent times, it appeared as though Morena would easily win the elections that will take place in June 2024; but, the sudden emergence of senator Xóchitl Gálvez as the opposition candidate in recent months has thrown off everyone’s expectations.
Gálvez is a businesswoman who became a senator in 2018 and has captured the attention of the media with her inspirational narrative of growing up with an Indigenous father and a mestizo mother in the state of Hidalgo, before earning her way through public university and making her way into business and politics. Gálvez is the daughter of a mestizo mother and an Indigenous father.
In just a few short months, Gálvez has ascended to become the candidate of a large opposition alliance. This coalition comprises the PAN, the PRI, and the PRD, which are the three oldest major parties in the country. Gálvez’s climb to prominence has been meteoric.
Both Sheinbaum and Gálvez were selected through a series of polls with the intention of demonstrating greater transparency and popular participation than in the past, when presidents were accustomed to handpicking their successors. Neither of these processes, however, ran without a hitch.
Because another candidate, Beatriz Paredes, withdrew from the race, which handed the nomination to the frontrunner Gálvez, the opposition alliance was never able to carry out the final phase of the procedure that it had outlined.
In the meantime, Ebrard, who came in second place to Morena, has claimed that the party is favoring Sheinbaum over him. On Wednesday, he made the announcement that his team had discovered irregularities in 14% of the ballots that were cast in the national poll that Morena had undertaken to pick who would run for candidacy.
Ebrard’s pleas that the process be redone were ignored, and as a result, he has subsequently removed himself from consideration for the role of Morena.
Sheinbaum is still the favorite to win the election, despite Gálvez’s widespread support, as a result of the confirmation of both candidates’ candidacies for president of Mexico. This will mark the first time in Mexico’s history that a woman will be elected president of the country.
According to Carlos Ramrez, a political expert, “She will have López Obrador’s support; however, building her own narrative and forging her own image will be her first challenge.” “She cannot function without him, and everyone knows him. Why would you go against that? However, she is going to need to find a compromise.”
Ebrard’s very public dissension is also an early hint of the difficulty that Sheinbaum may encounter in maintaining harmony within the Morena party if López Obrador steps down as leader of the country.
A political analyst by the name of Vanessa Romero Rocha stated that “[Lopez Obrador] will go to his ranch in Palenque in fewer than twelve months, and he is, in principle, what is holding them all together.”
In the meanwhile, it is unclear if Gálvez will be able to parlay her recent popularity in the media into political support across the country. Romero Rocha stated that according to the most recent data that they have, 48 percent of the people is still unaware of who she is.
Since Gálvez is the candidate of Mexico’s established parties, she is susceptible to the accusation that she has the support of a reviled corporate aristocracy. But despite the fact that she has spent years working in politics — first as the mayor of a municipality in Mexico City and then as a senator – she has not been involved in any scandals related to corruption.
“Galvez needs to sell herself as an outsider, a figure of civil society,” Ramrez added, “but without losing the support of the party structures – she needs them to win president elections.” “Galvez needs to sell herself as an outsider, a figure of civil society.” “Striking that balance is going to be a very difficult challenge.”
Gálvez has supported progressive policies on issues including the environment, abortion rights, and rights for LGBTQ+ people despite the fact that he is a senator from the conservative PAN party.
Despite this, the opposition sees Gálvez as their best option to challenge Morena, as they have lost election after election since López Obrador’s victory in a landslide in 2018.
Romero Rocha stated that the aforementioned political parties have an understanding of what the Mexican people want. Recently, López Obrador has enjoyed approval ratings at the national level of sixty percent: only a fool would swim in the opposite direction at this point.