Leftist Claudia Sheinbaum wins landslide victory in Mexico Presidential election

10:37 05.06.2024 •

Mexican President-elect Claudia Sheinbaum of the leftist Morena party waves to supporters in Mexico City, Mexico.
Photo: Getty Images

Claudia Sheinbaum, the presidential candidate of left-wing party, founded by outgoing Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, has won the election.

First, exit polls and the party’s own internal numbers indicated that Sheinbaum had not only beaten her opponent Xóchitl Gálvez, who ran on behalf of a hodgepodge opposition coalition that brought together historical rivals the National Action Party (PAN) and the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI), but had won by an overwhelming 2:1 margin.

The quick count, which provides a small range of the expected result, showed that Sheinbaum had received between 58.3 and 60.7 percent of the vote, outperforming most polls, which had her around 55 percent. Gálvez received between 26 and 28.6 percent of the vote. A third candidate, Jorge Alvarez Máynez, came in a distant third with 9.9 to 10.8 percent of the vote.

Official figures from Mexico’s electoral authority put voter turnout at over 60 percent, in line with participation rates from previous presidential elections.

While the electoral season was marred by political violence, it was mostly targeted at local candidates, with candidates from both the pro-government bloc and opposition coalition impacted by the violence.

Nonetheless, in anticipation of the opposition’s expected fraud allegations, Morena invited a group of international election observers to monitor the electoral process, in addition to other observation delegations. Political leaders and organizers from throughout Latin America and beyond descended on Mexico City to supervise the vote, with permission from the country’s electoral authority.

Clara López Obregón, a Colombian senator representing the Historic Pact coalition that backs President Gustavo Petro and a member of the observation delegation, told Truthout that, based on what she saw, the vote was free and fair.

“Many of the voters I spoke to at the voting centers and in the queues said that what was needed was a strong turnout so that there would be zero doubt of the electoral triumph because of a potentially close result,” said López.

Despite the overwhelming evidence that the election was free and fair, at one point early on in the night, before official results were released, Gálvez and her team appeared to seriously entertain the possibility that they would not recognize Sheinbaum’s victory.

In the end, when the quick count was published, the narrative that the election was “stolen” was unsustainable. Both Gálvez and Taboada reluctantly conceded defeat, despite cries of fraud from supporters.

With the release of the data, the tension that hung over supporters inside the Morena headquarters broke and those in attendance erupted into cheers. Sheinbaum addressed supporters well past midnight. At the start of her speech, she recognized the historical significance of her victory.

“For the first time in 200 years of the Republic, I will become the first woman president of Mexico,” declared Sheinbaum.

The landslide victory actually means Sheinbaum has received the highest vote percentage in Mexico’s democratic history, outpacing even her predecessor and mentor, López Obrador, who similarly won by a large margin in 2018.

In her victory speech, Sheinbaum promised to carry out the legacy of López Obrador. On the campaign trail, she talked often about building the “second floor” of the political transformation started by her predecessor. Sheinbaum has committed to maintaining the fiscal discipline that characterized López Obrador’s government but also said she would expand the widely popular social programs and follow through on the major infrastructure projects already underway.

One area where Sheinbaum might differ from López Obrador is on climate change. She was a member of the United Nations panel of climate scientists that was awarded a Nobel Peace Prize and is expected to promote more green energy initiatives.


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