Mexico Elects New President

Mexico Elects New President

( – Mexico has elected its first female President. Claudia Sheinbaum, the 61-year-old former Mayor of Mexico City, romped home with a landslide victory, winning 60% of the vote and roundly defeating her nearest rival, Xóchitl Gálvez, by 30%. She will replace President Andrés Manuel López Obrador on October 1.

The former scientist ran for office on a pledge to continue her predecessor’s work and to build on his popular welfare programs. “I will not fail you,” she told supporters during her election victory speech.

President Joe Biden congratulated Sheinbaum on her historic victory and said he looks forward to working with her “in the spirit of partnership and friendship that reflects the enduring bonds between our two countries.”

Sheinbaum is also the first Jewish leader of the predominantly Catholic nation. A member of López Obrador’s Morena Party, she tilts to the left and believes government plays a substantial role in countering social and economic inequalities. Leading opponent Gálvez insisted, however, that the new President must tackle organized crime. Some critics accuse Sheinbaum of weakness in the face of cartel power.

One journalist, Belén Fernández, described Sheinbaum’s victory as a win for the cartels and said she failed to keep promises to wipe out violent crime as Mayor of the nation’s capital. Fernández argued in her op-ed that cartels hold “their own form of elections” by getting rid of unfavorable candidates. She went on to claim that the “real winner” is organized crime.

The new President’s grandparents migrated to Mexico City after fleeing the Holocaust in Europe. Her political life began when she protested against privatization at the National Autonomous University of Mexico. After graduation, she traveled to the US and took a post-grad engineering Master’s degree at the University of California, where she also advanced to English fluency. Steinbaum’s first significant political role was as Mexico City’s environment secretary, and she later joined the International Panel on Climate Change and won a team Nobel Prize in 2007.

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