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Ruling party presidential candidate Claudia Sheinbaum greets supporters after the National Electoral Institute announced she held an irreversible lead in the election in Mexico City, early Monday.         --Photo Fernando Llano/AP

Mexico elects Claudia Sheinbaum as its first woman president

MEXICO CITY (AP) --Mexico’s projected presidential winner Claudia Sheinbaum will become the first woman president in the country’s 200-year history.
The climate scientist and former Mexico City mayor said Sunday night that her two competitors had called her and conceded her victory.
“I will become the first woman president of Mexico,” Sheinbaum said with a smile, speaking at a downtown hotel shortly after electoral authorities announced a statistical sample showed she held an irreversible lead. “I don’t make it alone. We’ve all made it, with our heroines who gave us our homeland, with our mothers, our daughters and our granddaughters.”
“We have demonstrated that Mexico is a democratic country with peaceful elections,” she said.
The National Electoral Institute’s president said Sheinbaum had between 58.3 percent and 60.7 percent of the vote, according to a statistical sample. Opposition candidate Xóchitl Gálvez had between 26.6 percent and 28.6 percent of the vote and Jorge Álvarez Máynez had between 9.9 percent and 10.8 percent of the vote.
The preliminary count, which started off very slowly, put Sheinbaum 27 points ahead of Gálvez with 42 percent of polling place tallies counted shortly after her victory speech.
The governing party candidate campaigned on continuing the political course set over the last six years by her political mentor President Andrés Manuel López Obrador.
His anointed successor, the 61-year-old Sheinbaum led the campaign wire-to-wire despite a spirited challenge from Gálvez. This was the first time in Mexico that the two main opponents were women.
“Of course, I congratulate Claudia Sheinbaum with all my respect who ended up the winner by a wide margin,” López Obrador said shortly after electoral authorities announcement. “She is going to be Mexico’s first (woman) president in 200 years.”
If the margin holds it would approach his landslide victory in 2018. López Obrador won the presidency after two unsuccessful tries with 53.2 percent of the votes, in a three-way race where National Action took 22.3 percent and the Institutional Revolutionary Party took 16.5 percent.
Earlier, Gálvez wrote on the social platform X, “The votes are there. Don’t let them hide them.”
Sheinbaum is unlikely to enjoy the kind of unquestioning devotion that López Obrador has enjoyed. Both belong to the governing Morena party.
In Mexico City’s main colonial-era main plaza, the Zocalo, Sheinbaum’s lead did not initially draw the kind of cheering, jubilant crowds that greeted López Obrador’s victory in 2018.
Fernando Fernández, a chef, 28, joined the relatively small crowd, hoping for a Sheinbaum victory, but even he acknowledged there were problems.
“You vote for Claudia out of conviction, for AMLO,” Fernández said, referring to López Obrador by his initials, as most Mexicans do. But his highest hope is that Sheinbaum can “improve what AMLO couldn’t do, the price of gasoline, crime and drug trafficking, which he didn’t combat even though he had the power.”
Also in the crowd, Itxel Robledo, 28, a business administrator, expressed hope that Sheinbaum would do what López Obrador didn’t. “What Claudia has to do is put professionals in every area.”

(Latest Update June 4, 2024)

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