Mexico elects Claudia Sheinbaum as its first ever female president

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Presidential candidate Claudia Sheinbaum of the ‘Sigamos Haciendo Historia’ coalition waves to supporters during the 2024 final campaign event at Zocalo on May 29, 2024 in Mexico City, Mexico.

Hector Vivas | Getty Images News | Getty Images

Mexico’s left-wing climate scientist Claudia Sheinbaum secured enough votes to become the Latin American country’s first-ever female president.

The country’s electoral institute published a rapid count estimate Late Sunday night, he said Sheinbaum had won the presidential election. The estimate has a margin of error of +/- 1.5%, the institute said.

In the historic vote, Sheinbaum defeated her election rival, center-right businesswoman Xóchitl Gálvez, after dominating the polls for months.

Sheinbaum, a protege of her longtime ally and mentor Andrés Manuel López Obrador, is now set to succeed AMLO when his six-year term as president ends on October 1.

Sheinbaum, a former mayor of Mexico City who was dubbed the “ice lady” by her political rivals, has pledged to largely continue AMLO’s policies and has won the support of his ruling Morena party.

Sheinbaum previously worked as a contributing author on a report by the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Yet the 61-year-old did not make the climate threats facing Mexico a central part of her campaign.

Analysts have said Mexico’s next government will face significant fiscal and structural realities that will likely lead to difficult choices when it comes to balancing investment plans, its popular but costly welfare programs and, perhaps most importantly, its state oil company Pemex .

“Without a concrete solution to the elephant in the room – Pemex – neither external market sentiment nor credit rating agencies are convinced of Sheinbaum’s fiscal credibility,” Verisk Maplecroft analysts said in a recent research note.

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“Her main proposal – to shake things up by refinancing Pemex’s upcoming debt obligations ($6.8 billion in 2025, followed by $10.5 billion in 2026 – and a total of $39 billion by the end of the decade) ) – this is unlikely to resonate with investors given Pemex’s deep structural problems,” she added.

General view of Mexican presidential candidate for the ruling Morena Party, Claudia Sheinbaum, closing the campaign in Zocalo Square in Mexico City on May 29, 2024.

Pedro Pardo | Episode | Getty Images

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