Mexico City Mayor Claudia Sheinbaum – a leading candidate to succeed President López Obrador – has declared she is “ready” to take on the nation’s top job.
In an interview with Milenio TV, the Morena party mayor said she is excited about the possibility of becoming Mexico’s first female president. She asserted that the country is ready to have a woman as its chief executive before declaring that she, too, is “ready” to succeed her close ally when he leaves office in 2024.
“I’m ready, obviously everything [will happen] in good time,” Sheinbaum said, referring to the ruling party’s future process of selecting a 2024 presidential election candidate. “I believe that the participation of women enriches democracy in our country.”
“Mexico is actually one of the most advanced countries in the whole world with regard to the participation of women in public life, particularly politics. And I think that’s marvelous, not just for us, this generation but also for future generations,” Sheinbaum said.
The mayor – a physicist and environmental scientist who served as Mexico City’s environment minister when López Obrador was mayor of the capital in the early 2000s – is widely seen as one of two leading contenders to win the Morena nomination, the other being Foreign Affairs Minister Marcelo Ebrard.
Sheinbaum – considered AMLO’s preferred successor by many observers – acknowledged that she has the support of the president but said he treats all the possible Morena candidates equally.
Interior Minister Adán Agusto López, Senator Ricardo Monreal and Labor Party Deputy Gerardo Fernández Noroña have also expressed interest in participating in the ruling party’s internal process to find its 2024 flag bearer.
“We all know the rules of the game…” Sheinbaum told Milenio TV.
López Obrador reiterated Saturday that he won’t handpick a successor as previous presidents have done. Rather, “the people” – rank and file Morena members – will decide who will appear on the ballot as the ruling party and its allies’ candidate, he told people attending an event in Puebla.
“It won’t be like before, I can assure you. Will there be a tapado? No, screw that! Will there be a dedazo? Screw that!” AMLO declared. The colloquial terms refer to an anointed successor and previous Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) presidents’ unilateral designation of presidential candidates. For most of the 20th century, these candidates were assured victory due to a de facto PRI dictatorship.
“… Who is going to choose the [Morena congressional] candidates and the the next president? …. The people! The people will decide,” he said. “Fortunately, … there are several women and men who can guarantee …that the transformation [of Mexico] in benefit of our people will continue.”
Earlier this month, López Obrador presented a long-list of possible opposition candidates, saying that a total of 43 people have either expressed interest in vying for the presidency or have been touted as potential contenders to the Morena party candidate.
Among the names he mentioned were Jalisco Governor Enrique Alfaro, former first lady and federal Deputy Margarita Zavala and ex-interior minister and current Senator Miguel Ángel Osorio Chong.