Claudia Sheinbaum makes history as first female to win Mexico presidency

Claudia Sheinbaum, a climate scientist and former mayor of Mexico City, is set to become Mexico’s first female president after a landslide victory.

She won the presidency with 58.3-60.7 percent of the vote, according to a rapid sample count by Mexico’s electoral authority, in what would be the highest vote percentage in Mexico’s democratic history.

The ruling coalition was also on track for a possible two-thirds supermajority in both houses of Congress, which would allow the coalition to pass constitutional reforms without opposition support.

Opposition candidate Xochitl Galvez conceded defeat after preliminary results showed her taking between 26.6 and 28.6 percent of the vote.

The ruling Morena party also won the Mexico City mayorship race, one of the country’s most important posts, according to preliminary results.

What are the challenges ahead for Sheinbaum?


AMLO claims to have reduced historically high homicide levels by 20 percent since he took office in December 2018. But that’s largely a claim based on a questionable reading of statistics. The real homicide rate appears to have declined by only about 4 or 5 percent in six years by some measures.

Complex conflict:

Under AMLO, cartels have expanded control in much of the country and raked in money – not just from drugs but from extorting legally run industries and migrant smuggling.
Pemex: Mexico’s state-owned oil company continues to totter under a mountain of debt, while AMLO’s pet project – a new oil refinery – has yet to function, and many of his other infrastructure projects are unfinished, over budget and unlikely to ever turn a profit.


AMLO also leaves his successor with a staggering budget deficit equivalent to 5.9 percent of GDP, as well as ongoing costs to fund his building and benefit programmes, which will limit their room for manoeuvre.

Water and energy shortage:

AMLO’s favourite, state-owned Federal Electricity Commission, has proved to be highly polluting and unreliable, especially in the face of drought and an extended heatwave. The whole country faces looming water and energy shortages.
Environment: Mexico has suffered from long-running drought, wildfires and soaring temperatures causing monkeys to drop dead from trees. The construction of AMLO’s Maya Train has also fuelled environmental concerns.

Credit: Al-Jazeera

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