Two women will face off in 2024 Mexico presidential elections

Claudia Sheinbaum (right) will face Xochitl Galvez in next year's presidential elections. (Photo/Reuters)

Two women will compete for the Mexican presidency for the first time next year after the ruling party named former Mexico City mayor Claudia Sheinbaum as its candidate.

Sheinbaum, a 61-year-old scientist by training, will face Xochitl Galvez, an outspoken businesswoman and senator with Indigenous roots selected to represent an opposition coalition, the Broad Front for Mexico.

One of the two in all likelihood will become Mexico's first woman president, and both have invoked cracking the glass ceiling in a nation seeking to shake off a tradition of machismo.

President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador's Morena party announced on Wednesday that Sheinbaum had won an internal contest to run in the June 2024 election, beating rivals, including former foreign minister Marcelo Ebrard.

"Today democracy won," Sheinbaum said, adding: "There will be a woman president of the republic!"

Sheinbaum is a staunch supporter and confidant of Lopez Obrador, who enjoys an approval rating of more than 60 percent but is required by the constitution to leave office after a single six-year term.

"Sheinbaum is probably the greatest ally in the political history of Lopez Obrador," said analyst Pablo Majluf.

A student leader in the 1980s, Sheinbaum served as Mexico City environment secretary when Lopez Obrador was mayor from 2000-2005.

She was a spokesperson for Lopez Obrador during his failed 2006 election bid, and served as Mexico City mayor herself from 2018 until earlier this year when she stepped down to run for president.

"Girls see an example in me," Sheinbaum told the magazine Gatopardo.

"Being the first woman president would be historic in our country," she added.

Both Morena and the opposition bloc opted to use public opinion polling to pick their nominees.

Like Lopez Obrador, Sheinbaum portrays herself as a defender of the poor, including Indigenous communities.

The entry of Galvez -- born to an Indigenous Otomi father and mixed-race mother -- has already shaken up the presidential race.

Her first name means "flower" in the Nahuatl Indigenous language, and her background sets her apart from the traditional conservative opposition.

She wears Indigenous clothing, uses colloquial language peppered with swear words and is known for traveling around Mexico City by bicycle.

The opposition coalition is made up of the Institutional Revolutionary Party -- which ruled the country for more than 70 years until 2000 -- the conservative National Action Party and the leftist Party of the Democratic Revolution.

Galvez, a 60-year-old computer engineer, has criticised Lopez Obrador's security strategy and said that "ovaries are needed" to confront organised crime.

In a survey published on August 28 by the Reforma newspaper, 46 percent of respondents said they would vote for Sheinbaum in a two-way contest, compared with 31 percent for Galvez.


Source: TRT