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Claudia Sheinbaum, former Mayor of Mexico City

Claudia Sheinbaum elected Mexico's first woman president


Claudia Sheinbaum, Mexican president-elect

June 2024: Claudia Sheinbaum, Mexico City's former mayor, won the Mexican presidential election convincingly. On 2 June 2024, 58 per cent of citizens voted for the left-wing politician. Her opponents Xóchitl Gálvez, from the conservative PAN party, and Jorge Máynez from the centre-left Citizen's Movement received 29 and 11 per cent of the vote respectively. Claudia Sheinbaum is considered a protégé of the current president Andrés Manuel López Obrador (known as AMLO). Both belong to the left-wing Morena party. It is expected that Ms Sheinbaum will largely continue the policies of her predecessor. Although, as she says, she will set her priorities.

 

The governing Morena party also performed well in the parliamentary and regional elections.

 

Ms Sheinbaum wants to maintain and even expand López Obrador's social policy with state aid for young and old people. In the fight against serious drug-related crime, she wants to leave the armed forces in charge but set new priorities. In the energy sector, unlike López Obrador, she wants to promote the generation of electricity from renewable energies.

 

The president-elect is the granddaughter of European Jews. To escape Nazi persecution, her maternal grandmother and paternal grandfather left Lithuania and Bulgaria. Her parents were both left-wing scientists. Claudia Sheinbaum professes no religion.


Ms Sheinbaum studied physics and holds a doctorate in energy technology. She contributed to two assessment reports by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), which was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2007 for its efforts to combat climate change. The president-elect governed the country's capital Mexico City from 2018 to 2023. She was shortlisted for the 2021 World Mayor Prize, an award won by Marcelo Ebrard, one of her predecessors as mayor of Mexico City, in 2010.

 

In contrast to the charismatic López Obrador, the future president is seen as a technocrat. López Obrador appointed her to the capital's cabinet as Environment Minister in 2000 when he was elected Mayor of Mexico City. Sheinbaum later became mayor of a capital district and, from December 2018, head of government in the capital. She resigned from office to run for president.

 

The challenges facing the future president include the violence of the drug cartels, the high level of debt of the state oil company Pemex and relations with the USA about migration, drugs and trade. According to the Mexican government, poverty has decreased in recent years thanks to several social programmes and an increase in the minimum wage. However, more than a third of the population is still considered poor.

 

2 June 2024 was the biggest election day in the history of Latin America's second-largest economy with 130 million inhabitants. More than 20,000 posts were filled. In addition to the presidency, all 500 seats in the Chamber of Deputies and the 128 seats in the Senate were up for vote.

 

In total, more than 20,000 offices will be filled: including the vice president, senators, deputies, governors, the head of government of the capital Mexico City and 80 per cent of the almost 2,500 Mexican mayors for the period 2024-2030. Almost 100 million citizens entitled to vote were called to the polls on Sunday. While the fact that the two presidential front-runners were women was widely celebrated, the campaign was marred by violent attacks. According to the consulting firm Integralia, at least 34 candidates have been killed since September 2023.

 

US President Joe Biden was one of the first international leaders to congratulate the president-elect for her victory. “I congratulate Claudia Sheinbaum on her historic election as the first woman President of Mexico.  I look forward to working closely with President-elect Sheinbaum in the spirit of partnership and friendship that reflects the enduring bonds between our two countries.  I express our commitment to advancing the values and interests of both our nations to benefit our people.  I also congratulate the Mexican people for conducting a nationwide successful democratic electoral process involving races for more than 20,000 local, state, and federal positions.”

 

Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau congratulated Claudia Sheinbaum on her election as the first woman President of Mexico. “As our two countries celebrate 80 years of diplomatic relations this year, I look forward to working closely with President-elect Sheinbaum to further strengthen the friendship between Canada and Mexico, which is rooted in cultural connections, shared priorities, and a dynamic trade and investment relationship.”

 

Claudia Sheinbaum will replace Andrés Manuel López Obrador as President of Mexico on 1 October 2024.

 




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