Claudia Sheinbaum elected Mexico’s first woman president – Times of India


MEXICO CITY: Claudia Sheinbaum, a climate scientist and former mayor of Mexico City, won her nation’s elections Sunday in a landslide victory that brought a huge milestone: She became the first woman to be elected prez of Mexico. Early results indicated that Sheinbaum, 61, prevailed in what the authorities called the largest in Mexico’s history, with the highest number of voters taking part and the most seats up for grabs.It was a landmark vote that saw not one, but two, women vying to lead one of the hemisphere’s biggest nations.
Sheinbaum, a leftist, campaigned on a vow to continue the legacy of Mexico’s current prez and her mentor, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador. The election was seen by many as a referendum on his leadership, and her victory was a clear vote of confidence in him and the party he started.
Lopez Obrador has completely reshaped Mexican politics. During his tenure, millions of Mexicans were lifted out of poverty and the minimum wage doubled. But he has also been a deeply polarising prez, criticised for failing to control rampant cartel violence, for hobbling the nation’s health system and for persistently undercutting democratic institutions. Still, Lopez Obrador remains widely popular and his enduring appeal propelled his chosen successor.
With about 78% of votes counted, Sheinbaum had some 59% of votes, about twice as many as her nearest competitor Xachitl Galvez. Galvez, an entrepreneur and ex-senator on a ticket with a coalition of opposition parties, got aro und 28%. Longshot candidate Jorge alvarez Maynez trailed with 10.5% of the vote. Sheinbaum’s Morena party was also projected to hold majority in both chambers of Congress. Speaking to supporters, Sheinbaum vowed to work on behalf of all Mexicans, reaffirmed her party’s commitment to democracy and celebrated her groundbreaking ascension to the nation’s highest office. “For the first time in 200 years of the republic, I will become the first female presi dent of Mexico,” she said.
Sheinbaum’s experience is ample: She has a doctorate in energy engineering, participated in a UN panel of climate scientists awarded a Nobel Peace Prize and governed the capital. Known as a demanding boss with a reserved demeanor, she has risen through ranks by aligning herself completely with Lopez Obrador. As a result, the prez-elect battled the perception among many that she will be little more than a pawn of her mentor.
Another milestone: She’s 1ˢᵗ Jewish president
Mexico elected its first Jewish president over the weekend, a remarkable step in a country with one of the world’s largest Catholic populations. Sheinbaum, 61, rarely discusses her heritage. When she does, she tends to convey a more distant relationship to Mexico’s Jewish community, which stretches back to the origins of Mexico itself, and today numbers about 59,000 in a country of 130 million people.
“Of course I know where I come from, but my parents were atheists,” she said in 2020. Her parents were both leftists and involved in the sciences. But while Sheinbaum has downplayed her ties to Judaism, her origins have not gone entirely unnoticeds. After emerging last year as a prez contender, Sheinbaum faced “birther” attacks questioning whether she was born in Mexico or is even Mexican.
Since the Gaza war there broke out last year, Sheinbaum has condemned attacks on civilians, called for a ceasefire and said she supports a two-state solution. It remains to be seen how, as president, she will navigate Mexico’s position on the war, an increasingly contentious issue in the country.

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