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BREAKING: Claudia Sheinbaum Projected to Become Mexico’s First Female President

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MEXICO CITY, Mexico — Mexico is on the verge of electing its first female president, with preliminary results indicating that Claudia Sheinbaum, former mayor of Mexico City and climate scientist, is set to win the largest election in the country’s history.

According to the National Electoral Institute (INE) Quick Count, which is based on a statistical sample of ballots from polling stations, Sheinbaum garnered between 58.3% and 60.7% of the vote.

The 61-year-old candidate rode a wave of popularity attributed to her longtime political ally, the outgoing leftist President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, and their Morena party.

Sheinbaum’s victory will also mark a significant milestone as she becomes Mexico’s first leader of Jewish heritage, although she seldom discusses her personal background and governs as a secular leftist.

Trailing Sheinbaum is opposition candidate Xóchitl Gálvez, supported by a coalition of the National Action (PAN), Institutional Revolutionary (PRI), and Democratic Revolution (PRD) parties, with between 26.6% and 28.6% of the votes. In third place is Citizens’ Movement candidate Jorge Álvarez Máynez, with between 9.9% and 10.8% of the votes.

The Quick Count results indicate a voter turnout between 58.9% and 61.7% of the nearly 100 million registered electorate.

Claudia Sheinbaum , Mexico
Supporters of Claudia Sheinbaum celebrate during an election rally in Mexico City on June 2, 2024. | Luis Antonio Rojas/Bloomberg/Getty Images

Sheinbaum’s anticipated win is a remarkable milestone for a country that has made significant strides in gender equality in elected office, solidified by a 2019 constitutional reform.

Despite these advancements, Mexico continues to grapple with high femicide rates, with around 10 women murdered daily.

Having served as mayor of Mexico City for five years until her resignation last June to pursue the presidency, Sheinbaum is also recognised for her contributions to a Nobel-winning Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report.

She is married to Jesús María Tarriba Unger.

Sheinbaum is viewed as a continuation of the policies of López Obrador, whose social welfare programs have bolstered Morena’s popularity and positively impacted the lives of poorer Mexicans.

She has pledged to sustain her predecessor’s initiatives, including pensions for all senior citizens, scholarships for over 12 million students, and free fertilizers for small farm owners, while dismissing criticisms of her close political alignment with López Obrador.

Violence in the country, with numerous political candidates or applicants killed in the past year and cartels expanding their influence, has been a primary concern for voters.

Although the murder rate declined between 2019 and 2022, Mexico still experiences historically high levels of around 30,000 homicides annually.

Sheinbaum has been reticent about her security proposals but has pointed to her record as mayor of Mexico City, where her administration reportedly improved police working conditions and intelligence-gathering capabilities.

A significant challenge for Sheinbaum will be addressing the culture of impunity in Mexico, where around 95% of all crimes went unsolved in 2022, according to the think tank Mexico Evalua.

Sunday’s election is the largest in Mexico’s history, with more than 98 million voters registered and 1.4 million eligible to vote abroad.

In addition to the presidency, approximately 70,000 candidates are vying for over 20,000 positions, such as senators, mayors, and governors.

After the final results are tabulated, the Electoral Tribunal of the Judicial Branch of the Federation (TEPJF) must review and resolve any challenges to the process and officially validate the presidential election by September 6.

If validated, Sheinbaum will assume office on October 1, with her term extending from 2024 to 2030.

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