Menu Close

Claudia Sheinbaum is the next president of Mexico

Add to my bookmarks
ClosePlease login

No account yet? Register

Share This Article:

Claudia Sheinbaum at her campaign launch. The progressive leader is making history as the first woman president in North America and has vowed to follow in the footsteps of her colleague President López Obrador in building an anti-neoliberal economic development model. – Picture: Wikimedia

By Zoe Alexandra

Dr Claudia Sheinbaum won the presidential election in Mexico on June 2, making her the first female president of Mexico. The scientist, public servant, Nobel Peace Prize winner, and longtime activist ran with the “Let’s Continue Making History” Coalition composed of the Movement for National Regeneration (MORENA), the Labour Party (PT), and the Green Ecologist Party of Mexico.

With between 58.3% and 60.7% of the vote, the highest in the history of Mexican democracy, Sheinbaum defeated Xóchitl Gálvez Ruíz who was the candidate of the right-wing Force and Heart for Mexico Coalition of PRI-PAN-PRD. Jorge Álvarez Máynez came in third with around 10% of the total vote share.

Sheinbaum addressed thousands of supporters in the Zocalo in the centre of Mexico City to celebrate her victory. “I feel excited and thankful, for the recognition that you have given to the Fourth Transformation of public life of Mexico. Here as we have always done, I promise to not let you down. Today, the people of Mexico have made possible the continuity and advance of the Fourth Transformation, and also for the first time in 200 years, we women have arrived to the presidency of the Republic!”

Earlier in a press conference, Sheinbaum also announced that MORENA had achieved a majority in the Chamber of Deputies and was set to also win a majority in the Senate. Clara Brugada, the former mayor of Iztapalapa, won the race for head of government of Mexico City.

Sheinbaum’s party MORENA had announced her victory in a press conference about an hour and a half after polls had closed and all major exit polls projected her victory with a 2:1 margin, which they characterized as an irreversible trend. The President of MORENA, Mario Delgado, had stated, “Today sovereignty, independence, and democracy have also triumphed. The people have shown that they will not be deceived, not with hate campaigns nor with lies. The votes defeated the bots!”

The National Electoral Institute (INE) began to release results of the quick count at 8:00 pm (Mexico City time). Just before midnight on Sunday, the Council President of the National Electoral Institute (INE), Guadalupe Taddei Zavala, released a message to announce that based on the preliminary results of the rapid count, Sheinbaum is set to win the presidency with a wide margin over right-wing candidate Xóchitl Gálvez. She added that between 58.9-61.7% of the electorate had participated in Sunday’s local and federal elections.

Tensions had begun to rise in the period after voting when conservative candidate Gálvez Ruiz, instead of accepting her overwhelming defeat, confirmed in the exit polls and the preliminary results of INE, called on her supporters to remain vigilant and suggested she is in fact the winner. She then published a series of tweets, echoing the same messages of “vigilance” and wrote, “They want you to go to bed thinking that they beat you. They lie like always.”

Analysts had been alerting to a situation wherein Gálvez would “cry fraud” and attempt to undermine the results of the election in light of her predictable defeat.

However, this narrative was quickly debunked after the official results confirmed the landslide victory of the MORENA candidate. When Sheinbaum announced her victory, she confirmed that Gálvez had called to congratulate her moments earlier.

Claudia Sheinbaum vows to continue making history

Sheinbaum will be the first woman president of Mexico and North America, and has vowed to continue the project of the “Fourth Transformation” inaugurated by President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, led by the principle of “Mexican Humanism”. The anti-neoliberal socio economic project has had enormous success across Mexico in raising the standard of living for the majorities in the country through the increase in minimum wage, expanded social and economic programs to increase access to key rights of education, housing, healthcare, and more. AMLO will finish his term in office with a 80% approval rating, according to Gallup polls.

Sheinbaum spoke about the importance of the 4T project in an interview with Peoples Dispatch and BreakThrough News in April 2023, “states have to give the rights to the people. What do we think is a right? Education, health, a home, pension for all the elders. We also believe in strategic areas of the economy such as energy. The state has to be part of this, especially electricity, oil and mainly and now lithium…it’s important and it’s going to be very important in the future … You cannot have private investment measured only by GDP or international investment. You have to measure investment, public and private, in wealth for the people. And that’s the big difference with neoliberalism that believed that everything was going to be solved by the market.”

Mexico’s northern neighbour, the United States, is its most important trading partner. During AMLO’s six-year term, he managed to maintain a mostly amicable relationship with both Donald Trump and Joe Biden, but also did not shy away from holding his ground on key issues. For example, as president, AMLO was one of the strongest voices on topics which directly contradict US policy such as the US blockade of Cuba, the imprisonment and persecution of Julian Assange, and the subordination of the region to corporate and imperialist interests. AMLO was also a driving figure in reinvigorating spaces of regional integration and served as pro-tempore president of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC). How Sheinbaum relates to her northern neighbour and the rest of the region will be a defining feature of her presidency.

This article was first published at Peoples Dispatch