Latin America

Claudia Sheinbaum: The first female president of Mexico?

Mexico will probably elect its first female president in about a year. The opposition alliance has already named its presidential candidate.

Now the ruling Morena party, Claudia Sheinbaum, also sent a woman into the race.

Just a short time ago, no one would have thought it possible: after the elections in about a year, Mexico will probably be governed by a woman for the first time. Today, the ruling Morena party named Claudia Sheinbaum, the former mayor of Mexico City, as its official presidential candidate.

With 39 percent of the votes, she prevailed against five challengers, including former Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard. He had denounced irregularities in the electoral process, but was unable to assert himself.

Competitor Gálvez is gaining popularity

Sheinbaum takes on 60-year-old computer engineer and entrepreneur Xochitl Gálvez. She was put in the running for the presidency by the broad alliance of the three strongest opposition parties, “Frente Amplio”. Galvez began her campaign in June after Mexican President López Obrador verbally attacked her at a press conference. Until then, the senator from the conservative PAN party was relatively unknown. In the last few weeks it has gained enormous popularity.

It is incredible that the number of people suffering from extreme poverty has increased. It is outrageous that the President does not speak to the mothers who are searching for their missing children. In an interview with Mexican journalists, Gálvez also denounced the violence in the country, against which the Mexican President is doing nothing.

Sheinbaum: Pale, aloof and self-conscious

Morena candidate Sheinbaum is considered a pupil of AMLO, as Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador is known for short. The physicist embodies his politics. Critics say she’s just a puppet. In public appearances, she seems rather pale and unapproachable. Even at her appointment, she seemed self-conscious. She will hardly be able to maintain the closeness to the population that AMLO cultivates. Even in the fifth year after his election, he can count on approval ratings of around 60 percent. According to the constitution, however, he cannot run for a second time.

“It’s time for change. It’s women’s time,” Sheinbaum called out to the audience at the end of her campaign rally a few weeks ago. So far, however, the former mayor of Mexico City has hardly campaigned for the interests of women. And that in a country characterized by machismo, in which there are an average of eleven femicides a day – that is, murders of women because they are women. The detection rate is close to zero.

It remains to be seen whether the future President will change anything in her specific policy. But a woman at the top – whether Sheinbaum or Gálvez – may be a first step for a rethink in the country.

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