Monday, March 4, 2024

Xóchitl Gálvez will be the opposition candidate in 2024

National Action Party (PAN) Senator Xóchitl Gálvez will represent the Broad Front for Mexico (FAM) opposition alliance at next year’s presidential election after her sole remaining rival for the candidacy effectively withdrew from the contest ahead of a vote scheduled for this Sunday.

Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) Senator Beatriz Paredes acknowledged Wednesday that the results of polling that was part of the FAM’s candidate selection process didn’t “favor” her and declared that Gálvez’s victory was guaranteed.

Xóchitl Gálvez at an event
Xóchitl Gálvez celebrates her victory with gelatinas, which she used to sell with her mother. (EDGAR NEGRETE LIRA/CUARTOSCURO.COM)

Speaking at a PRI meeting in Mexico City, Paredes noted that she had committed to participating in the selection process until its conclusion before remarking that, “for me, the end is when they released the [poll] results that revealed that the triumph of the other candidate was irreversible.”

“… How the process ends is a matter for the organizing committee” of the FAM, she added.

A vote in which registered citizens could cast a ballot for either Gálvez or Paredes is scheduled for Sunday. However, it appears likely that it will be canceled given that Paredes has effectively withdrawn due to what she sees as the inevitable victory of Gálvez, who came out on top in polling by 15 points.

The results of polling and the vote were slated to be given equal weighting in the determination of the presidential candidate for the FAM, a three-party bloc that also includes the Democratic Revolution Party (PRD).

Broad Front for Mexico polling results
A Broad Front for Mexico vote tally sheet, which may not be used considering Paredes’ withdrawal in favor of Gálvez. (Frente Amplio por México/X)

After Paredes acknowledged that Gálvez’s victory was assured, the national president of the PRI, Alejandro Moreno, announced that the party he leads will provide its complete support to the PAN senator.

“We’ve taken the decision to support the single candidacy … of Xóchitl Gálvez to lead the Broad Front for Mexico,” Moreno said.

The announcement came five days after the PRD also threw its weight behind Gálvez, an indigenous Otomí woman from Hidalgo whose modest background could help her win support among the tens of millions of Mexicans who live below or near the poverty line.

Moreno said that the PRI “always wants to promote one of our own” as candidate for president, but “a decision in favor of our country” must come first.

Alejandro Moreno, leader of the PRI
Alejandro Moreno, national leader of the PRI, at the Wednesday press conference announcing his party’s backing of Xóchitl Gálvez. (ANDREA MURCIA /CUARTOSCURO.COM)

He asserted that the PRI has always placed the interests of the nation above all else, even though the party – which ruled Mexico uninterruptedly for more than 70 years until 2000 – has been closely associated with corruption and as a consequence was largely rejected by voters at the 2018 election, held shortly before the conclusion of Enrique Peña Nieto’s scandal-ridden presidency.

“We’re intelligent and clear, … we have to go … with the most competitive option. I’ve said it before and I say it now with a lot of pride, Beatriz Paredes is a great colleague and our friend,” Moreno said.

“… We’re seeking to favor unity … and prepare a project for all Mexicans. We aspire to the consolidation of the Broad Front for Mexico, we aspire to making it the strongest political option in the lead-up to next year’s electoral process,” he said.

Gálvez, Moreno continued, gives the FAM “the strength” to remove the ruling Morena party from office and “correct the course of the nation.”

The presumptive FAM nominee – one of 13 aspirants registered by the FAM in early July – said on the X social media platform that she valued Moreno’s leadership and the support of the PRI.

“We have before us a great opportunity to work together for a better Mexico,” Gálvez wrote, adding that what citizens are demanding is “work, security, efficiency and honesty.”

Senator Beatriz Paredes is a “badass”, according to Xóchitl Gálvez. (Beatriz Paredes/X)

She told reporters that Paredes is a “chingona,” or badass, and expressed her admiration and respect for her Senate colleague. On X, Gálvez wrote that “the talent and capacity” of the PRI senator “will be extremely important for the Broad Front for Mexico.”

Moreno also said that Paredes has an important role to play in the future of the FAM, which polls indicate faces an uphill battle to beat Morena at the June 2, 2024 presidential election.

The PRI senator said that her ongoing support for the FAM “will depend on the coalition’s program for government,” the “consistency of its proposals” and “the evolution of its democratic framework.”

Meanwhile, polling is underway to determine who will represent Morena and its allies at next year’s presidential election. Former Mexico City mayor Claudia Sheinbaum is the frontrunner, according to polls, and her main rival is ex-foreign affairs minister Marcelo Ebrard.

If Sheinbaum is announced as the Morena candidate on Sept. 6, Mexico will almost certainly elect its first female president next June given that she and Gálvez will be representing Mexico’s largest political parties.

The Citizens Movement party could also put forward a candidate, while one or more independents might join the race. The new president will take office on Oct. 1, 2024.

President López Obrador, who is constitutionally prohibited from seeking reelection, has said he will completely withdraw from politics once his six-year term ends.

With reports from El Universal, Reforma and Expansión

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