Preliminary results show Sheinbaum becoming Mexico’s first female president

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Preliminary results show Sheinbaum becoming Mexico’s first female president

An official quick count released early Monday showed ruling party candidate Claudia Sheinbaum winning Mexico’s presidential election and becoming the country’s first female leader.

The head of the National Election Institute said a representative statistical sample from across the country showed Sheinbaum, the former mayor of Mexico City, winning between 58.3% and 60.7% percent of the vote.

Her top opponent, Xóchitl Gálvez, an opposition senator and businesswoman with Indigenous roots, had between 26.6% and 28.6% of the vote. Centrist candidate Jorge Álvarez Máynez had between 9.9% and 10.8%.

The rapid count also showed Sheinbaum’s Morena Party winning large majorities in both chambers of Mexico’s Congress.

Speaking to supporters shortly after the quick count was announced, Sheinbaum said she was grateful that for the first time in its 200-year history Mexico will have a female president.

Shienbaum expressed thanks to the Mexican people and said the voting process showed Mexico is a democratic country.

She pledged to build a just and more prosperous nation that is fiscally responsible, without corruption and without impunity. The climate scientist said the government would work on energy sovereignty and renewable energy.

Sheinbaum also said Mexico will have friendly relations with the United States.

Gálvez told her supporters she called Sheinbaum to concede, and that the election of the country’s first female president was without a doubt a historic moment.

Gálvez said in the call she expressed that she sees a Mexico with a lot of pain and violence, and that Sheinbaum can fix the serious problems the country faces.

In a country with nearly 100 million Catholics, Sheinbaum would also be Mexico’s first president of Jewish heritage, although she is not religiously observant, her campaign has said.

Nearly 100 million people were registered to vote in the world’s most populous Spanish-speaking country, home to more than 129 million people.

In a nation where politics, crime and corruption are closely entangled, ultra-violent drug cartels went to extreme lengths to ensure that their preferred candidates win.

Hours before polls opened Sunday, a local candidate was murdered in a violent western state, authorities said, one of at least 25 other political hopefuls killed during the current campaign, according to official figures.

The victims “are not here on this day and that’s very sad,” Gálvez told reporters while going to vote.

Sheinbaum owes much of her popularity to outgoing President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, a fellow leftist and mentor who has an approval rating of more than 60% but is only allowed to serve one six-year term.

Sheinbaum has pledged to continue López Obrador’s controversial “hugs not bullets” strategy of tackling crime at its roots.

Gálvez vowed a tougher approach to cartel-related violence, declaring “hugs for criminals are over.”

More than 450,000 people have been murdered and tens of thousands have gone missing since the government deployed the army to fight drug trafficking in 2006.

The next president will also have to manage sometimes tense relations with the neighboring United States, in particular the vexing issues of cross-border drug smuggling and migration. Migration across the northern Mexican border into the U.S. is a key issue for many U.S. voters ahead of the November election between Democratic President Joe Biden and Republican former President Donald Trump.

Some information for this story was provided by The Associated Press, Agence France-Presse and Reuters

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