Composite of archival photographs depicting the presidential candidates of Mexico, officialist Claudia Sheinbaum (left), opposition candidate Xóchitl Gálvez (center), and third-option Jorge Álvarez Máynez (right), during their participation in various political events in the city of Guadalajara, Mexico, 22 May 2024. (Foto: EFE/Francisco Guasco)

By Pedro Pablo Cortés

Mexico City. – Mexico’s presidential race is heating up with a week to go, as ruling party candidate Claudia Sheinbaum and opposition candidate Xóchitl Gálvez traded accusations of «authoritarianism» on Wednesday.

At an event in Durango, a state in northern Mexico, Gálvez characterized the political project of Sheinbaum and President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, the National Regeneration Movement (Movimiento Regeneración Nacional, Morena), «authoritarian» and urged people to vote for her to «defend» democracy.

«Before politics, we have a homeland, and before a political party, we have the republic, because Mexico comes first. Do not forget that what is at stake is democracy,» warned the candidate of the coalition Strength and Heart for Mexico (Fuerza y Corazón por México).

However, later, from the neighboring state of Chihuahua, Sheinbaum charged that it was the parties of Gálvez’s alliance, the National Action Party (Partido Acción Nacional, PAN) and the Institutional Revolutionary Party (Partido Revolucionario Institucional, PRI) who in the past had been rivals, that represented «authoritarianism.»

«You, the PRIAN, just look at them, so many years of the PAN supposedly against the PRI. But what unites them? Business, corruption, hatred, slander, lies, now they are together and they represent authoritarianism,» said Sheinbaum.

Countdown begins for campaigns

These recriminations come a week before the end of the official campaign, next Wednesday, when an electoral ban will be imposed until election day, Jun. 2.

Since the start of the campaign on March 1, opinion polls have remained similar, with about 55% of support for Sheinbaum, 33% for Gálvez, and 12% for Jorge Álvarez Máynez of the opposition Citizen’s Movement (Movimiento Ciudadano, MC), according to the poll aggregator Poll of Polls by the company Oraculus.

Despite the trends, Gálvez emphasized the backing of hundreds of thousands of citizens who marched across the country on Sunday in support of her and in «defense of democracy» in what has become known as the «Pink Tide» march.

Mexico will hold the largest elections in its history, with 98 million voters called to renew more than 20,000 positions, including the presidency, 500 deputies, 128 senators and nine state governments.

Álvarez Máynez, a third-option candidate

Seeking to be a third alternative between Morena and the two traditional parties, Álvarez Máynez also campaigned in northern Mexico, visiting a school in Tijuana, the largest city on Mexico’s border with the United States.

There, he promised young people to fight gentrification and use the phenomenon of «nearshoring,» or the relocation of companies, to create «prosperity.»

«We have to make Tijuana the capital of the new prosperity, we have to double the capacity of this city to move forward and face adversity so that there is prosperity, peace and opportunity for everyone,» he said.


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