Claudia Sheinbaum elected as Mexico's first woman president


Mexico's official electoral authority announced that preliminary results show Claudia Sheinbaum, the 61-year-old former mayor of Mexico City, securing between 58%

and 60% of the vote in Sunday's election. This places her approximately 30 percentage points ahead of her main rival, businesswoman Xóchitl Gálvez. Sheinbaum will take over from her mentor, outgoing President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, on October 1.

Supporters of Sheinbaum are celebrating her historic win, as she becomes the first woman to hold the presidency in Mexico's 200-year history. Sheinbaum, a former energy scientist, has vowed to continue building on the "advances" made by López Obrador, particularly his popular welfare programs. In her victory speech, Sheinbaum emphasized that her election represents an achievement for all women, stating, "This is not just about me getting [to the top office], it's about all of us getting here." She assured voters, "I won't fail you."

Sheinbaum also acknowledged her rival, Gálvez, who conceded defeat. The election of Mexico's first female president marks a significant political milestone. Sheinbaum's background includes serving as mayor of Mexico City, a role often seen as a stepping stone to the presidency. Her scientific career, with a focus on energy and climate change, includes studying at a renowned research lab in California and serving as the environment secretary for Mexico City under López Obrador.

In 2018, Sheinbaum became the first female mayor of Mexico City, a position she held until 2023 when she decided to run for president. Her victory is seen as a pivotal moment for women in Mexico. Edelmira Montiel, 87, expressed her gratitude for witnessing this historic election, reflecting on the progress women have made since they were first allowed to vote in national elections in 1953.

The election, however, was marred by violence, with over 20 local candidates killed across Mexico. Gálvez criticized the government and Sheinbaum for the ongoing violence, promising to confront crime if elected, though she provided few specifics on tackling the powerful criminal cartels.

Sheinbaum's approach to addressing Mexico's violent cartels includes targeting the root causes of violence and investing in welfare programs to prevent young Mexicans from joining criminal groups. She also aims to maintain a "relationship of friendship, mutual respect, and equality" with the United States while defending the rights of Mexicans living and working there.

Outgoing President López Obrador, who has been in power since 2018 and is constitutionally barred from a second term, supported Sheinbaum's candidacy. His backing, along with his near 60% approval rating, significantly boosted her campaign. Many voters supported Sheinbaum to ensure the continuation of Morena's poverty alleviation programs. Photo by Secretaría de Cultura Ciudad de México from México, Wikimedia commons.

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