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Mexico ready to elect first female president in 2024

September 7, 2023

For the first time in history, both of the country's two major parties have selected female candidates for president.

Mexican presidential candidates Claudia Sheinbaum and Xochitl Galvez
Claudia Sheinbaum of the ruling Morena party is to head off against the main opposition alliance's Xochitl Galvez in the 2024 electionImage: Fernando Llano/Marco Ugarte/AP Photo/picture alliance

Mexico's ruling left-wing National Regeneration Movement (Morena) party announced on Wednesday that it had nominated Claudia Sheinbaum Pardo as its candidate in the 2024 presidential election.

For the first time in history, both of the country's two major parties have selected female candidates for president.

Last week, the centrist opposition alliance Frente Amplio por Mexico (Broad Front for Mexico) nominated Senator Xochitl Galvez as its candidate for president.

Galvez is an Indigenous woman from the state of Hidalgo trained as a computer engineer. She has accused the current government of propagating "lies" and trying to fix problems with "ideologies" rather than solutions.

Also on Wednesday, Mexico's Supreme Court decriminalized abortion nationwide.

Claudia Sheinbaum at campaign event after it was announced she is Morena's candidate for president of Mexico
Sheinbaum vowed to continue with the social welfare policies of her predecessor, AMLOImage: Raquel Cunha/REUTERS

Who is Morena's candidate for president?

Sheinbaum, a scientist by training, stood down as mayor of Mexico City in June after five years in office to pursue her presidential election campaign. 

The former mayor defeated five rivals for nomination as Morena's candidate. One of her competitors, former Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard, claimed there had been irregularities in the process and called the procedure unfair.

During her tenure as mayor, murders in Mexico City were reduced by nearly half. Sheinbaum also expanded public transport and pushed green energy policies.

Incumbent President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, known as "AMLO," cannot run for office in the 2024 election, as presidents can only serve for a single six-year term under Mexican law.

Sheinbaum has vowed to continue with AMLO's social welfare programs.

"There's no turning back from the transformation begun by President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador," she said last month during her nomination campaign.

AMLO's approval ratings have consistently held around 60%, and Morena holds the governorship of 22 of Mexico's 32 states.

However, AMLO has also been criticized for his controversial electoral reform bill, which sparked protests attended by tens of thousands. His government has also been criticized for its increased use of military force.

sdi/sms (dpa, AP, Reuters, EFE)