Morena, the party of Andrés Manuel López Obrador, maintains its most important trench, with around 50.9% of the votes, against a strengthened opposition in the capital, which obtained 38.8%, according to the first official count.

The Mexican left managed to maintain its stronghold this Sunday with a resounding victory. Mexico City elected Clara Brugada, from the National Regeneration Movement (Morena), as its head of government for the next six years. The elected candidate won with between 49% and 52% of the votes of her main rival, the panista Santiago Taboada, from the Va by CDMX alliance, who obtained between 37% and 40% of the votes, according to the quick count, a calculation with samples collected in several polling stations that have 95% confidence. Salomón Chertorivski, from Movimento Cidadão, came in a distant third, with between 6% and 9%. In an election in which Mexico chose Claudia Sheinbaum as its first female president, the capital gave resounding support to continuity. The idea that officials repeated so much in the campaign, “it’s time for women”, finally came to fruition. With Sheinbaum in the Presidency and Brugada in Mexico City, the duo of the National Palace and the local Executive will be in the hands, for the first time, of two left-wing women.

“The majority decided to vote for the transformation of Mexico to continue”, celebrated the elected head of Government, after an almost incident-free journey with high participation, of around 68% of registered voters in the capital, almost 8 points above the presidential election. . Taboada, who represented the historic National Action Party (PAN), Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) and Democratic Revolution Party (PRD), acknowledged defeat shortly after the release of the first official data, early in the morning. “This time, on this occasion, it wasn’t enough”, he said when recognizing his opponent’s victory, “we gave everything on the field, we left ourselves with nothing”. The candidate from the opposition coalition wished Brugada success and assured that he will continue working for the city’s future. A comparison of data from the head of Government with the federal dispute shows that Taboada was much more successful in the election than her alliance partner, presidential candidate Xóchitl Gálvez, who lost by around 30 points.

After almost three decades at the head of the government of the capital, the left faced in these elections a strengthened right in the capital, which threatened to take power. Unlike the presidential elections, where polls predicted a broad victory for Morena, the dispute in the city was expected to be tighter. The clearest precedent was the 2021 midterm elections, when voters in the capital punished Andrés Manuel López Obrador’s party at the polls and gave the opposition more than half of the 16 city councils that make up the city. The difference between the two favorites narrowed as the date approached, and although it ended up tighter than it started, it never turned the election around. One factor that seems decisive is participation, which increased from 52% to 68% this Sunday.

Brugada, 60, has dedicated half his life to working for the largest Spanish-speaking city in the world. In local politics, it was almost everything. Federal deputy, local legislator, social attorney for the government of the capital, alternate senator and three times mayor of Iztapalapa, the largest demarcation of the capital. An economist by training, she forged her political career in the poorest neighborhoods, first as an activist and then as an employee. She walked for years with references from the national left, such as López Obrador or former chancellor Marcelo Ebrard, but always defended her own ideas. A first-time feminist, Brugada is a figure close to the Mexican president and was supported from the beginning by the toughest wing of the party.

The virtual head of Government, a feminist who began her political career in social organizations and activism for the poor, does not only have the support of the president. From the first moment Sheinbaum’s possible successors were considered in the capital, she stood out as the favorite among her party colleagues. She had everything to be the best option in the eyes of the hard wing of the party, those more purist and left-wing. Although the internal preference was much greater for the capital’s former Secretary of Security, Omar García Harfuch, the party chose to raise her.

The Mexican capital, the second district with the most voters, behind only the State of Mexico, has always served as a political thermometer on the national scene. This Sunday’s elections painted a favorable panorama for López Obrador’s party in Mexico City, where not only the president maintains a very positive image, but also Sheinbaum, the city’s former head of government. This electoral drag had an important impact in favor of the campaign in the city, where the party also won in the presidential race, in the Senate and in the Congress of Deputies, with 27% of the votes counted.

The opposition was unable to channel the discontent of part of the population with the Obradorista movement at the polls. Nor replicate the electoral success they had in 2021, the first time that the PRI, PAN and PRD allied themselves. Taboada tried to focus his speech on the water crisis currently affecting the capital and insecurity, in the midst of a campaign with 37 candidates murdered. However, it was not enough to convince voters, in part, because the capital managed to reduce crime rates during the last administration, while a wave of violence ravaged the states. The former head of government, now elected president, promised to export this security model to the rest of the country. Brugada also took advantage of this supposed success, who committed to maintaining the security forces’ current way of working.

Security and drought will be two of the biggest obstacles that the next head of government will face. Although the capital is a box of constant surprises, it always presented new challenges for those who governed it. Brugada, an expert in urban planning, changed the skyline of Iztapalapa, the largest and one of the poorest prefectures, during her three terms. Now she will have six years to try this in the city.

Georgina Zerega, June 3, 2024.
The country


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