Mexico First to Kick Off Critical North American Elections

Far-left candidate Claudia Sheinbaum was elected Mexico’s next president, becoming the first female president in the country’s history.

The 61-year-old Sheinbaum, outgoing President Andrés Manuel López Obrador’s chosen successor, vowed to continue López Obrador’s populist policies when she greeted supporters in Mexico City after last Sunday’s election.

The June 2 elections marked the largest in Mexico’s history with over 98 million voters registered to vote, along with another 1.4 million Mexicans living abroad. Voter turnout matched Mexico’s previous elections with roughly 60 percent of registered voters casting a ballot.

According to the National Electoral Institute, Sheinbaum won roughly 60 percent of the vote with opposition candidate Xóchitl Gálvez, also a woman, coming in second with around 28 percent. Jorge Álvarez Máynez took third place with roughly 10 percent of the vote.

Sheinbaum, the former mayor of Mexico City, told her supporters that both Gálvez and Máynez called to concede the race.

This year’s election season was marred by intense violence, with the government reporting over 20 political killings since last fall. However, independent estimates place the number of murdered candidates at 34.

Voting in the southeastern town of Coyomeapan had to be suspended for several hours after violence broke out at the polling center.

Sheinbaum’s Morena party also held its majorities in both chambers of Mexico’s Congress.

After her victory was confirmed, Sheinbaum celebrated the “heroines who gave us our homeland,” whom she said paved the way for her to become Mexico’s first woman president.

Sheinbaum, who is also the first Jewish candidate elected to lead the country, will begin her six-year term in office on October 1. Mexico’s constitution does not permit presidents to seek a second term.

Voters in nine of Mexico’s 32 states also went to the polls to elect governors. Voters also chose candidates for both chambers of Congress, as well as mayors and other local officials.