Mexico Makes History by Voting in First Female President

( – Mexico has a new milestone in its history books after voters elected the country’s first female president, Claudia Sheinbaum.

Sheinbaum will be taking over from populist and leftist President Andrés Manuel López, but was earlier tapped by her predecessor to be his preferred successor.

“I promise that I am not going to let you down,” the ecstatic Sheinbaum told an exultant crowd of supporters she addressed after news broke that her lead was large enough to predict a guaranteed win. Sheinbaum, a physicist and climate scientist, left her rivals behind in the dust – Mexico’s National Electoral Institute had her closest competitor and opposition candidate, Xóchitl Gálvez, garnering between 26.6% and 28.6% of the vote, as opposed to Sheinbaum’s commanding lead of 58.3% and 60.7%. A third presidential aspirant, Jorge Álvarez Máynez, secured vote percentages ranging from 9.9% to 10.8%. Sheinbaum’s victory also extended to members of her party, Morena, which are projected to continue to dominate the country’s legislatures in the local congresses and the federal legislative assembly.

Shienbaum’s term will last for six years, and will begin on October 1. She has her work cut out for her though, as she will assume responsibility for a host of issues the country is facing. One is the deluge of migrants passing through Mexico to get – more often than not, illegally – into the U.S. To complicate matters, the issue could also spill into negotiations for a possible extension of a trade deal that would see Mexico continue to be the U.S.’ largest trading partner.

She will also have to address the matter of increasing violence in the country and a burgeoning crime rate, which was recently exacerbated by tensions related to the election, especially in more rural parts of Mexico. As many as 37 candidates were killed in relation to the June 2 polls, while hundreds of others were reportedly forced withdraw their respective candidacies.

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