Claudia Sheinbaum Makes History As Mexico’s First Ever Female President

In what has been termed as a historic landslide win, Claudia Sheinbaum has been elected as Mexico’s first female president.

She also becomes the first Mexican president from a Jewish background. Ms. Sheinbaum will replace her mentor, outgoing President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, on October 1.

Preliminary results showed that the 61-year-old former mayor of Mexico City won between 58% and 60% of the vote in Sunday’s election.

Ms Sheinbaum, a former energy scientist, has promised continuity, saying that she will continue to build on the “advances” made by Mr. López Obrador, further building on the welfare programmes that have made the outgoing president very popular.

In her victory speech, she also highlighted what has set this Mexican election apart from previous ones. She told cheering voters: “For the first time in the 200 years of the [Mexican] Republic, I will become the first woman president of Mexico.”

She said it was an achievement not just for her but for all women.

“I’ve said it from the start, this is not just about me getting [to the top office], it’s about all of us getting here.” She added: “I won’t fail you.”

Ms Sheinbaum also thanked her rival, Xóchitl Gálvez, who conceded victory.

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A Mexican scientist, academic, and politician, Claudia Sheinbaum was born on June 24, 1962, after her Jewish maternal grandparents immigrated to Mexico from Bulgaria after fleeing the Nazis.

Sheinbaum studied Physics at the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) where she earned an undergraduate degree in 1989. During her undergraduate days, she was immersed in politics. She earned a master’s degree in 1994 and a PhD in 1995 in energy engineering.

Sheinbaum served as Head of Government of Mexico City, a position equivalent to that of a state governor, from 2018 to 2023. She stepped down in June 2023 to run for president.

She has authored over 100 articles and two books on energy, the environment, and sustainable development. In 2018, she was listed as one of the BBC’s 100 women.

Sheinbaum has two children and one grandchild. Her partner, Jesús María Tarriba, whom she met at university while both were studying physics, is a financial risk specialist at the Bank of Mexico.

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