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Friday, July 12, 2024

Mexico set to get first female president as deadly violence mars historic polls

Mexico voted on Sunday in the country’s largest-ever election, which was also its bloodiest, in which ruling leftist Morena party’s Claudia Sheinbaum is set to become the first female president.

In Short

  • Claudia Sheinbaum represents the ruling leftist Morena party
  • She is expected to defeat another woman candidate Xochitl Gálvez from conservative PAN party
  • Violence mars polls as many political candidates, applicants killed by criminal organisations

A majority of the polls closed in Mexico’s election on Sunday as the country is expected to elect its first female president, Claudia Sheinbaum. Marred by violence, the election that was the largest in the country’s history was also the bloodiest. Several political candidates and applicants have been killed by criminal organisations trying to influence those in power. At least 38 candidates were killed, triggering concerns about the threat of conflicting drug cartels to democracy, news agency Reuters reported.

Claudia Sheinbaum from the ruling leftist Morena party, is expected to defeat Xochitl Gálvez from the conservative PAN party, who is representing a coalition of opposition parties. The third candidate is Jorge Alvarez Maynez, the youngest in the poll race, who is representing the center-left Citizens’ Movement.

Here are top five developments in Mexico elections:

  • The National Electoral Institute said that it had to cancel plans for 170 polling booths, mostly in Michoacan and Chiapas and mostly due to security concerns. In Puebla, four armed assailants attempted to burst into a school where voting booths were installed to steal ballots. In western Mexico, a local candidate was shot dead on June 1, hours before the country voted. Violent crimes have been a top issue in this year’s presidential contest.
  • Almost 100 million Mexicans were eligible to cast their vote in Sunday’s election. Barring the presidential contest, other positions up for grabs include Mexico City’s mayor, eight governorships and both chambers of Congress. Around 1.4 million Mexicans are eligible to vote abroad as well, CNN reported. About 20,000 elected positions are on ballots, the most in Mexico’s history, Reuters reported.
  • In some regions of Mexico, voters decided to nullify their votes by writing in the names of some of the country’s over 1,10,000 missing people as president as part of the ‘Vote for the Disappeared’ campaign, The Associated Press reported. Such families have criticised outgoing President Andrés Manuel L³pez Obrador’s government, who they say has sought to minimise the problem of people missing.
  • Claudia Sheinbaum, who has led in opinion polls over her main rival Xochitl Galvez, will be tasked with confronting organised crime violence, if elected. More people have been killed during the mandate of outgoing President Lopez Obrador than during any other administration in the country’s modern history, though the homicide rates have decreased.
  • US officials were closely monitoring the polls in Mexico as it comes at a crucial time for President Joe Biden-led administration, CNN reported. A record number of migrants at the US-Mexico border has been seized upon by Republicans, who alleged the same as evidence of the Biden administration’s impotence, making migration control a top election matter.

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