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Mexico To Elect First Woman President

Election workers wait for voters at a polling station during the general elections in Tlacolula de Matamoros, Oaxaca, Mexico, June 2, 2024. Mexicans on Sunday voted for a two-woman majority presidential election, a historic first in a country where crime and gender-based violence are rife. (Photo by Patricia Castellanos/AFP via Getty Images)

Avril Elfi from OAN
Sunday, June 2, 2024, 3:30 p.m.

Mexicans are preparing to vote in a historic election to decide who will be the country’s first female president.

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Polls opened at 8 a.m. local time, and long lines formed outside polling stations around the world, while people abroad lined up at Mexican consulates in their local areas.

With around 20,000 ballots submitted, this election will be the largest in Mexican history.

Opinion polls show Claudia Scheinbaum as the front-runner, with a sizeable lead over her main rival, Xochitl Gálvez, who is part of an opposition coalition that includes the left-wing PRD party, the right-wing PAN and the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI), which ruled Mexico for nearly 70 years until democratic elections in 2000.

Scheinbaum, a former mayor of Mexico City, told reporters he felt carefree and happy on his way to vote.

“Everybody needs to get out and vote,” Sheinbaum said.

Sheinbaum’s mentor, outgoing President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, emerged from the presidential palace with his wife, Beatriz Gutierrez Muller, waving to supporters and posing for photographs.

Candidate Galvez also chatted with his supporters as they arrived to vote.

“God is with me,” Galvez said, adding that he expects a difficult day.

Sheinbaum has promised to continue Lopez Obrador’s political program, with the candidate intervening in the campaign and trying to turn the vote into a referendum on his own behalf.

Thirty-eight candidates have been killed during the campaign, including a local candidate who was shot dead on the eve of the election, adding to the violence of this year’s elections. The death toll is the country’s highest in recent years and raises fears that Mexico’s democracy is under threat from rival drug cartels.

Winners will have to overcome many obstacles, including curbing organized crime, violence, water and electricity shortages, and relocating manufacturers as part of the nearshoring movement, in which companies move their supply chains closer to major markets.

The next president will also have to consider what to do about Pemex, the giant state-run oil company, which has seen production decline over the past two decades and is heavily in debt.

Both candidates have promised to increase welfare spending, but this may be difficult to achieve given the large budget deficit this year and the central bank’s forecast of GDP growth of just 1.5% next year.

Whoever is elected will be Mexico’s first female president, and will begin her six-year term on October 1.st.

Polls close at 6pm local time, with preliminary results expected later on Sunday.

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