The governing celebration referred to as it a ceremonial passing of the baton. However the opposition lambasted it as a “passing of the scepter.”
Constitutionally barred from working for reelection, Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador sought to indicate final month, in a really public means, that presidential candidate Claudia Sheinbaum has his blessing. So he handed his hoped-for successor an precise baton, in a ceremony exterior a Mexico Metropolis restaurant not removed from the Nationwide Palace – the seat of the nation’s govt energy.
Sheinbaum, a 61-year-old former Mexico Metropolis mayor and longtime political ally of Lopez Obrador, hit all the precise notes in thanking him. Accepting the baton together with the leftist Morena celebration’s presidential nomination, Sheinbaum mentioned she would assume “the total accountability of constant the course marked by our individuals, that of the transformation initiated by President Andrés Manuel López Obrador.”
When Mexicans go to the polls subsequent June, they may select between two ladies for president – a primary within the nation’s historical past. Solely 4 days earlier than Morena nominated Sheinbaum, Mexico’s opposition coalition Broad Entrance selected one other formidable feminine candidate, former senator Xochitl Gálvez from the conservative PAN celebration.
It’s not the primary time Mexico sees ladies working for the presidency; earlier than Sheinbaum and Gálvez, had been six different feminine presidential candidates. However with the 2 main political sides nominating ladies, that is the primary time that it’s virtually a provided that beginning in December 2024, Mexico, a rustic beforehand recognized for machismo, shall be run by a lady.
Nonetheless, some critics say the outgoing Lopez Obrador’s shadow looms over the competition.
Meet the candidates: Sheinbaum and Galvez
Gálvez’s rise in Mexican politics has been meteoric; this spring, she mentioned she wasn’t even the favourite of the PRI, PAN and PRD, the events that now type the Broad Entrance coalition. It was a public spat with Lopez Obrador himself – who commonly attacked her as a “wimp,” “puppet,” and “worker of the oligarchy” in information conferences – that finally rocketed her into the highlight.
In June, Gálvez went viral when she tried to enter the Nationwide Palace with a judicial order that granted her the precise to answer to the president, after efficiently suing López Obrador. “This isn’t a present,” she informed reporters on the doorways of the Nationwide Palace. “The regulation is the regulation, interval.”
The daughter of an indigenous father and a mixed-race mom, Gálvez served as the highest official for indigenous affairs beneath former President Vicente Fox earlier than changing into a senator. Unfiltered and irreverent, she described herself in an interview with CNN en Español as “an all-terrain, 4-by-4, sort of lady.”
In some respects, she seems progressive. Gálvez has advocated within the Mexican Congress for the rights and welfare of indigenous teams and Afro-Mexicans, and in a regional discussion board earlier this yr in Monterrey, mentioned that oil-rich Mexico ought to shift to renewable vitality. “We haven’t carried out it as a result of we’re dumbasses,” Gálvez unapologetically mentioned.
She has additionally mentioned leftist Lopez Obrador’s pension for all senior residents ought to proceed, and proposes what she calls a “common social safety system” of welfare packages for a big portion of the center and decrease courses.
However on the subject of safety and the struggle towards organized crime, Gálvez’s three-pronged plan is muscular, based mostly on what she describes as “intelligence, coronary heart and a firm-hand”: strengthening native and state police and giving them entry to intelligence, advocating for and defending victims, and respecting the rule of regulation.
Macario Schettino, a political analyst and Social Science professor at ITESM, a famend Mexican college, describes Gálvez’s political momentum as spectacular, contemplating that just a few months in the past, she wasn’t even thought-about a candidate with a nationwide profile. “She barely begun to register in political phrases, and he or she’s already had nice progress. Many individuals in Mexico nonetheless don’t know her. She goes to develop [..] in recognition,” Schettino mentioned, “Whereas Claudia Sheinbaum can now not transfer from the place she is as a result of she is already recognized by most Mexicans.”
Sheinbaum, a physicist with a doctorate in environmental engineering, would even be the primary president with Jewish heritage if she wins, though she hardly ever speaks publicly about her private background and has ruled as a secular leftist.
She is at present forward in most polls, and shall be a formidable opponent to beat. Not solely does Sheinbaum have the total help of the governing celebration, she has additionally lengthy loved the highlight as mayor of Mexico’s most necessary metropolis for the final 5 years till her resignation in June to run for the presidency.
On coverage, Sheinbaum has vowed to proceed a lot of Lopez Obrador’s insurance policies and packages, together with a pension for all senior residents, scholarships for greater than 12 million college students and free fertilizers for small farm house owners. However the high-profile ex-mayor rejects criticism of her shut political alignment with the president. “In fact we’re not a duplicate (of the president),” she mentioned in July.
Nonetheless, she doesn’t draw back from touting the ideas they share: “For everyone’s good, let’s put the poor first. There can’t be a wealthy authorities if the persons are poor. Energy is just a advantage when it’s used to serve the individuals,” Sheinbaum mentioned, repeating the identical marketing campaign slogans Lopez Obrador has used for years.
Schettino believes the immensely popularly Lopez Obrador views Sheinbaum as his extension in energy. He factors to their celebration Morena’s roots within the authoritarian Institutional Revolutionary Social gathering that ruled Mexico for greater than seven many years till 2000, which got here to be often known as “The Dinosaur,” and the Social gathering of Democratic Revolution that branched off from it.
In 2012, Lopez Obrador created Morena as a political celebration. Schettino describes the celebration right this moment as a “tyrannosaurus” beneath Lopez Obrador’s affect – representing what he says is the present chief’s want for a successor to hew intently to his personal agenda. “President López Obrador, a dinosaur who not solely is a dinosaur, but in addition has the vocation of a tyrant. He doesn’t need to go. He needs to remain in energy,” Schettino mentioned.
“I consider that he constructed Claudia’s candidacy,” Schettino mentioned.
López Obrador nonetheless has repeatedly dismissed accusations of authoritarian leanings or that he favors a candidate he’ll be capable to management. Earlier this yr, Lopez Obrador denied he had any favorites amongst his celebration’s hopefuls or that he was pushing for one candidate or one other behind the scenes.
He has additionally mentioned that he’s going “retire fully” after his six-year time period in workplace involves an finish. “I’m retiring, I can’t take part in any public occasion once more, in fact. I’m not going to just accept any place, I don’t need to be anybody’s advisor, a lot much less am I going to behave as a chief. I’m not going to have relations with politicians. I’m not going to speak about politics,” the president informed press in February.