Former Mexico City Head of government Dr. Claudia Sheinbaum will be the candidate of the progressive ruling National Regeneration Movement (MORENA) party for the Mexican presidential elections in June 2024. Her candidacy was announced on Wednesday, September 6, by Alfonso Durazo, president of the National Council of the party, who said that Sheinbaum had emerged as the leading candidate based on the party’s internal electoral process conducted in the form of surveys. Sheinbaum, who will seek to take forward the legacy of President Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO), will face off against former Senator Xóchitl Gálvez of the right-wing opposition alliance, the Frente Amplio por México (FAM).
The internal surveys gave Sheinbaum an almost 14-point lead over her nearest rival, former Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard. After the announcement, amid cheers of “President, President!”and “It is an honor to be with Obrador!,” Sheinbaum said, “Unity is fundamental, the doors are open and they will never close. Today, democracy won, today the people of Mexico won and I am the National Coordinator for the Defense of Transformation by decision of the people of Mexico.”
She hailed the progress made by Mexico during AMLO’s term as part of the ‘Fourth Transformation’ of the country, noting that both poverty and inequality had declined. “We are going to win in 2024, we are going to win the [Congress], we are going to win the senatorships, we are going to win the governorships, and there will be a president of the Republic and it will be from the Fourth Transformation,” she declared.
AMLO’s administration and policies have been extremely popular, especially among the poorer sections of society. The government’s social policies such as soft loans, pensions for the elderly, support programs for people with disabilities, single mothers, farmers and fishermen, scholarships for students from poor families, and free internet for all, have helped uplift the socio-economic status of the Mexican working class. This gives Sheinbaum an advantage in next year’s election.
Claudia Sheinbaum, an environmental scientist and former student activist, was one of the founding members of MORENA. As head of the Mexico City government from 2018 to 2023 [she resigned to take part in the MORENA primaries], Sheinbaum brought about a number of structural changes to the city and took vital steps to improve the safety of women. In an exclusive interview with Peoples Dispatch and BreakThrough News in April 2023, she spoke about the significance of the Fourth Transformation, “..states have to give the rights to the people. What do we think is a right? Education, health, a home, pension for all the elders. We also believe in strategic areas of the economy such as energy. The state has to be part of this, especially electricity, oil and mainly and now lithium…it’s important and it’s going to be very important in the future…You cannot have private investment measured only by GDP or international investment. You have to measure investment, public and private, in wealth for the people. And that’s the big difference with neoliberalism that believed that everything was going to be solved by the market.”
Sheinbaum’s tenure as head of Mexico City also saw steps to improve transportation with a focus on environment-friendly public transport. She was a member of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change which won the Nobel Prize in 2007.
During her term, Mexico City gave the key to the city to WikiLeaks Founder and political prisoner Julian Assange. She has also spoken out against the blockade against Cuba and hailed the victories of progressive governments in the region.