Ruling Morena party presidential candidate Claudia Sheinbaum casts her ballot for president during general elections in Mexico City, Sunday, June 2, 2024.

Claudia Sheinbaum Becomes Mexico’s First Female President in Landslide Victory

In a historic election marked by unprecedented voter turnout and violence, Claudia Sheinbaum of the ruling leftist Morena party has emerged victorious, becoming Mexico’s first female president. Sheinbaum secured a landslide victory against Xochitl Gálvez of the conservative PAN party, capturing between 58.3% and 60.7% of the vote, according to a rapid sample count by Mexico’s electoral authority. This is poised to be the highest vote percentage in the country’s democratic history.

Election Overview

The election, noted as Mexico’s largest and bloodiest, saw millions of Mexicans casting their votes amid significant security concerns. Criminal organizations sought to influence the election, resulting in the deaths of at least 38 candidates, according to Reuters. The violence highlighted the ongoing threat posed by conflicting drug cartels to the nation’s democracy.

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

Key Developments

  1. Polling Booth Security: The National Electoral Institute had to cancel plans for 170 polling stations, mainly in Michoacan and Chiapas, due to security issues. In Puebla, armed assailants attempted to steal ballots from a school, and a local candidate was shot dead just hours before the election in western Mexico.
  2. Voter Turnout: Nearly 100 million Mexicans were eligible to vote in this election, which included positions for Mexico City’s mayor, eight governorships, and both chambers of Congress. Around 1.4 million Mexicans were eligible to vote abroad.
  3. Vote for the Disappeared: In some regions, voters nullified their ballots by writing in the names of over 110,000 missing persons as part of the ‘Vote for the Disappeared’ campaign, a criticism of outgoing President Andrés Manuel López Obrador’s handling of the missing persons crisis.
  4. Organized Crime and Violence: Sheinbaum, who led in opinion polls over Gálvez, will face the challenge of addressing organized crime and violence. Under López Obrador’s administration, more people were killed than in any previous government in modern Mexican history, despite a recent decline in homicide rates.
  5. International Attention: The election drew significant attention from US officials, given its implications for President Joe Biden’s administration. The record number of migrants at the US-Mexico border has been a contentious issue, with Republicans citing it as evidence of the Biden administration’s alleged failure, making migration control a critical election issue.

Claudia Sheinbaum’s victory represents a significant milestone in Mexican politics, as she prepares to tackle the country’s pressing issues, including crime, violence, and migration. Her administration will be closely watched both domestically and internationally as she navigates these challenges.


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