Mexico elects Claudia Sheinbaum as its first woman president

An official quick count shows climate scientist Claudia Sheinbaum holds an irreversible lead in the race that would make her Mexico’s first female president

Updated - June 03, 2024 12:49 pm IST

Published - June 03, 2024 12:19 pm IST - MEXICO CITY

Claudia Sheinbaum, Presidential candidate of the ruling MORENA party, waves to her supporters after winning the election, in Mexico City, Mexico on June 3, 2024.

Claudia Sheinbaum, Presidential candidate of the ruling MORENA party, waves to her supporters after winning the election, in Mexico City, Mexico on June 3, 2024. | Photo Credit: Reuters

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,” Ms. 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 Ms. Sheinbaum had between 58.3% and 60.7% of the vote, according to a statistical sample. Opposition candidate Xóchitl Gálvez had between 26.6% and 28.6% of the vote and Jorge Álvarez Máynez had between 9.9% and 10.8% of the vote.

The preliminary count, which started off very slowly, put Ms. Sheinbaum 27 points ahead of Ms. Gálvez with 42% 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 Ms. 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.

Shortly before electoral authorities' announcement, Ms. Gálvez wrote on the social platform X, “The votes are there. Don’t let them hide them.”

Ms. 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, Ms. Sheinbaum’s lead did not initially draw the kind of cheering, jubilant crowds that greeted López Obrador’s victory in 2018.

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