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18 July, 2024
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Mexico elects its first female, first Jewish president

A historic event in the predominantly Catholic and male dominated society as Mexico elects its first female and Jewish president


Claudia Sheinbaum, former head of Mexico City's government and candidate for the ruling Morena party, is poised to become Mexico's first female president, marking a historic milestone in a traditionally patriarchal society. Notably, she will also be Mexico's first Jewish president, a significant achievement in a predominantly Catholic country with one of the world's largest Catholic populations.

Riding on the popularity of her ally, outgoing President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, Sheinbaum is projected to secure the presidency pending validation by the Electoral Court, with her term set to begin on October 1.

A former climate scientist, Sheinbaum entered the campaign as the frontrunner, consistently leading in polls conducted between February and March. Her academic background includes a degree in physics, as well as master's and doctorate degrees in energy engineering, earning her numerous accolades.

Born in Mexico City in 1962, Sheinbaum has held various political positions, including Secretary of the Environment for the Federal District and head of the Tlalpan borough. She became Mexico City's first elected female head of government in 2018. As part of her campaign within Morena, she coordinates the Defense of the Transformation, promoting the values of López Obrador's policies.

Despite her historic candidacy, Sheinbaum faces significant challenges, particularly regarding Mexico's endemic violence and security issues. The election has been marred by violence, with criminal organizations targeting political candidates. López Obrador's policies, including social welfare initiatives and a non-confrontational approach to cartels, have drawn both praise and criticism. Sheinbaum will need to address Mexico's high homicide rates and violence against women.

Moreover, her presidency comes at a crucial time for US-Mexico relations, with both countries holding elections in 2024. Mexico's role in immigration enforcement and border security is vital for the Biden administration, but the election introduces uncertainty about potential policy changes under a new Mexican leadership.

While Sheinbaum's presidency represents a historic milestone, her success will hinge on her ability to address Mexico's pressing challenges and navigate the complexities of international relations, particularly with the United States.

[Source: CNN]

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