Friday, April 12, 2024

Xóchitl Gálvez officially designated as opposition candidate at rally

Xóchitl Gálvez on Sunday was officially designated as the coordinator of the Broad Front for Mexico (FAM) opposition bloc after winning the contest to represent the three-party coalition at next year’s presidential election.

Gálvez, a 60-year-old senator who has quickly become one of Mexico’s best known politicians, was anointed as the head of the alliance made up of the National Action Party (PAN), the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) and the Democratic Revolution Party (PRD) at an event at the Angel of Independence monument on Paseo de la Reforma, a tree-lined boulevard leading into the historic center of Mexico City.

Gálvez Reforma rally
Gálvez held an event at Mexico City’s Angel of Independence, celebrating her nomination with thousands of supporters. (Xóchitl Gálvez/X)

She will become the FAM’s candidate for the June 2, 2024 presidential election when electoral rules allow her to officially assume that title. The PAN senator, an Indigenous Otomí woman from Hidalgo who was mayor of the Mexico City borough of Miguel Hidalgo between 2015 and 2018, defeated PRI Senator Beatriz Paredes in the final stage of a contest for the alliance’s candidacy that began in July with 13 aspirants.

“Just a few months ago the opposition was destroyed. The question wasn’t whether we were going to win but by how much we were going to lose,” Gálvez said in an acceptance speech in front of just 4,000 supporters – if the Mexico City government’s count is to be believed – or ten times that number, according to the FAM.

“But now there is an opposition. In a very short time we turned things around, and today I, Xóchitl Gálvez, accept happily and with great pride the honor of coordinating the efforts of the Broad Front for Mexico,” she said.

Gálvez said that the FAM “has to win” the 2024 presidential and congressional elections in order to “correct the path” Mexico is currently on under the leadership of President López Obrador and with a Congress controlled by the ruling Morena party, which will announce its presumptive 2024 nominee this Wednesday.

Mexico 2024 presidential candidates Claudia Sheinbaum and Marcelo Ebard
Former Mexico City Mayor Claudia Sheinbaum and former Foreign Affairs Minister Marcelo Ebrard are the frontrunners to secure the Morena candidacy. (Andrea Murcia Monsivais and Adolfo Vladimir/Cuartoscuro)

Supported on stage by the national leaders of the PAN, the PRI and the PRD, she declared that “the good news is that today, with the Broad Front for Mexico, achieving victory is possible.”

The senator, who represents the PAN but is not a member of that party, said that she is “politically color-blind” and, as a champion of the nation rather than a particular political force, sees just one color – “the color of Mexico,” which is usually represented by green, red and white.

As president, Gálvez said she would lead a government for all Mexicans and pledged to not divide citizens along political lines, as López Obrador frequently does by referring to many of those who criticize his administration as “conservatives” and/or “corrupt.”

“We’re not going to continue dividing Mexico. Mexico needs unity,” she said.

Gálvez public appearance
Gálvez, who is of Indigenous Otomí descent, called for “unity” amongst Mexicans and said she would establish a government for the people. (Xòchitl Gálvez)

The presidential aspirant said she would form “a government of the people, by the people and for the people,” employing the same words that the current president has used to describe his administration.

“Our platform is simple. If something works, we’ll leave it [in place], if something could work better, we’ll improve it and if it doesn’t work, we’ll change it,” said Gálvez, who noted that she is a (computer) engineer who seeks to fix problems with “solutions” rather than ideology.

“And remember my golden rule. No huevones [lazy people], no rateros [thieves] and no pendejos [idiots],” said the blunt-speaking senator, using colloquial terms to describe the kind of people she doesn’t want running the country.

“I demand 100% hard work from my teams, 100% honesty and 100% ability. … And the message is clear, this front is broad, we all fit in this front,” she said.

The final round of polling saw Gálvez beat out both Beatriz Paredes (right) and Santiago Creel. (Beatriz Paredes/X)

Gálvez, whose message was broadcast to supporters gathered in public squares in cities across the country, also spoke of a “new independence without hate and polarization” in which the president speaks less and listens more and the “heroes” are people such as teachers, doctors, nurses, police officers, soldiers and marines.

“I want a new independence without words of hate from the National Palace,” she said, referring to the seat of executive power at which López Obrador holds his lengthy morning press conferences.

The senator also pledged to create a Mexico “free from fear of crime” in which officials don’t take bribes and women find themselves on a level playing field.

In addition, “we’re going to open the doors of the National Palace,” said Gálvez, who was denied entry herself earlier this year when she sought to direct respond to remarks the president had made against her at one of his press conferences.

Gálvez flag waving
The Senator also aimed President López Obrador, saying she wants to create “a new independence without words of hate from the National Palace.” The President has been highly critical of political rivals for years. (Xóchitl Gálvez/Cuartoscuro)

“The door has been closed for five years – they closed it with lies, they closed it with insults, they closed it with hate, they closed it for all those who don’t think like them,” she said.

“The citizens are going to reopen that door. We’ll open it with the truth and we’ll open it with hope, because hope already changed hands, hope is now ours.”

Héctor Chávez, who was decked out in Mexico’s patriotic colors at the rally, told the Reuters news agency that the FAM candidate-elect “would get us all out of the hole” he claimed they are currently in.

That includes “the Indigenous people, the poorest [and] the middle class,” Chávez said, referring to people that López Obrador asserts that his administration has benefited, especially in the cases of the first two groups he mentioned. “And she is going to boost the economy,” he added.

There was a strong show of support for Gálvez at the Mexico City event – beamed to supporters across the country. Despite this, the Broad Front candidate is expected to be an electoral underdog in the fight to unseat Morena from power. (Graciela López/Cuartoscuro)

Gálvez is seeking to become Mexico’s first female president, but polls show that another woman, former Mexico City mayor Claudia Sheinbaum, is more likely to prevail at next year’s election. Polls also show that Sheinbaum is the frontrunner in the six-person contest to represent Morena and its allies next June.

Former foreign affairs minister Marcelo Ebrard is her main rival in the quest to become Morena’s new standard-bearer and thus head up the “defense” of the “transformation” that López Obrador and his government say they have brought to Mexico and the country’s public life since taking office in late 2018.

With reports from Reforma, El Financiero, Animal Político, El País and Reuters 

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