Adán Augusto López Hernández has resigned as interior minister to officially enter the contest to secure the ruling Morena party’s nomination for the 2024 presidential election.
President López Obrador announced the departure at his morning press conference on Friday, and López Hernández subsequently posted his resignation letter to Twitter.
Deputy Interior Minister for Human Rights Alejandro Encinas — recently identified as a victim of espionage — will take charge of the Ministry of the Interior until a successor for López Hernández is found, the president said.
The Morena National Council determined last Sunday that the aspirants to the party’s presidential candidacy must formally register their interest and resign their current positions by June 16.
Marcelo Ebrard stepped down as foreign minister on Monday, while Claudia Sheinbaum is concluding her mayorship of Mexico City today. Ricardo Monreal, the fourth of the main Morena aspirants, steps down as a senator and leader of Morena in the upper house today.
In his resignation letter to López Obrador, López Hernández — who stepped down as governor of Tabasco in August 2021 to become interior minister — adulated the president.
“I am little more than a consequence of the fight you lead, and led for decades. … I don’t deny the esteem, the respect and the admiration I feel for you,” he wrote.
López Hernández, who trails Sheinbaum and Ebrard in most polls measuring the popularity of Morena aspirants, said that his position in the federal government “allowed me to accompany you while you write one of the most brilliant pages in the history of Tabasco, Mexico and Latin American democracy.”
He and the other Morena presidential aspirants will have just over two months to campaign across Mexico before national polls are conducted to choose a new standard bearer for the ruling party. The Morena candidate for the June 2, 2024 election will be announced Sept. 6.
López Obrador said Friday that he was preparing to “hand over the baton” to a new “leader of the transformation movement.”
The aspirants are not resigning because they’re “incompetent,” he said.
“On the contrary, they’re resigning because they are the best leaders of our movement, those who can lead this ship to a good port, this ship that is already on course. We already know very well what we have to keep doing in Mexico.”