Mexico Elects Its First Female President, But Some Have Concerns About Her Political Agenda

FILE PHOTO: Claudia Sheinbaum, presidential candidate of the ruling MORENA party, addresses her supporters after winning the election, in Mexico City, Mexico June 3, 2024. REUTERS/Raquel Cunha/File Photo

Two women were leading in the election race to become President of Mexico. Claudia Sheinbaum, the former Mayor of Mexico City, is now projected to be the next elected president, capturing almost 60% of the votes cast on Sunday, June 2. Her opposition, Xóchitl Gálvez, received about 30% of the votes. Making this a historic win as she will be the first female president that Mexico has had in the past 200 years. 

Sheinbaum is a leftist and part of the Morena Political Party, which current President Andrés Manuel López Obrador also belongs to. She brings years of experience as a Mayor and a climate scientist. She supports President Obrador’s policies on violence, migration, and his work with the oil company. But she also wants to bring in her own ideas and perspectives gained through science, one of them addressing the issue of pollution and helping to reduce it. 

Some Mexican citizens are excited and celebrating a landslide win. Others who are not happy about the current political and economic state of Mexico are disappointed and surprised by the voting results. They are concerned whether Sheinbaum will be a “pawn” of Obrador’s political agenda or become her own leader with fresh ideas to help the country improve.

I sat down with Andrea, a 3rd-year Bellevue College student with family in Guadalajara, Mexico. She had this to say about Claudia Sheinbaum, “She’s in the same party as the current president, and we didn’t want her to win this Presidency cause we didn’t want the whole power in the same [political] party, Morena. It’s about democracy, and democracy will end. Claudia’s ideas are restricted. Currently, [the government] is giving money to young people who are just not working and not studying. You can’t just give them money, and that’s all. You have to encourage them to work or [do] something, you know, and that’s something [which] is not helping.” 

Andrea talked about her and her family’s reaction to the election results: “Everyone, we are all confused by the results of this voting. So we don’t know what’s gonna happen with that. But I mean, it’s corruption everywhere.” 

When asked what Andrea hopes to see changed under the new presidency, she said, “I hope it gets better. Public transportation is terrible in Mexico. Nobody wants to take public transportation. The current president just built a train that destroyed a lot of ecosystems in Mexico. He built this train called Trend Maya, and when [reporter] asked him [about it] in interviews, he just ignored and avoided the subject.” 

“Safety for all is a primary issue as well,” said Andrea. “The police in Mexico are not so good. So, maybe implementing new things for those will be better. There were a lot of killings and a lot of things from drug trafficking that we know that the government is so afraid of. That’s another thing that we don’t want anymore. And that’s why we didn’t like [when Sheinbaum won]. We wanted to change everything, like the president and the system. We wanted it to change. But now, with Claudia winning, nothing’s gonna change.”