All eyes on you

Sheinbaum’s 2024 Mexican presidential race.

Despite recent polls indicating that Xóchitl Gálvez had narrowed the gap on frontrunner Claudia Sheinbaum, a resounding victory for the latter was expected. Political polarisation has engulfed Mexico in recent years, partially owing to President Andrés Manuel López Obrador’s (“AMLO”) perceived backsliding on democracy, exemplified by his attempts to diminish and politicise the National Electoral Institute (“INE”).  

Now, with Sheinbaum’s win, she is expected to largely continue AMLO’s progressive policies and “consolidate what she has called the first floor of the fourth transformation,” a political consultant specialising in electoral issues reported. However, with her background as a climate scientist, Sheinbaum has pledged significant investments in renewable energy and endorsed the state-owned petroleum company Pemex’s transition away from solely focusing on fossil fuels.  

Sheinbaum’s approach to governance and policy appears to blend AMLO’s progressive ideals with her unique focus on environmental sustainability. “We will also have to wait and see how much control AMLO will exert behind the scenes,” the political consultant confirmed. “He is expected to continue to have a great deal of influence over Claudia.” As a former mayor of Mexico City, Sheinbaum has demonstrated a commitment to urban development and green initiatives, which she aims to extend nationally.  

“Claudia’s core team is largely her Mexico City team, and she will have to inherit part of AMLO’s team. She is expected to adopt people close to him,” cited the electoral consultant. The influence of Sheinbaum’s advisors, Diana Alarcón and Altagracia Gómez, cannot be understated. Their expertise and vision for economic development through FDI and nearshoring are integral to Sheinbaum’s strategy.  

“Claudia’s core team is largely her Mexico City team, and she will have to inherit part of AMLO’s team.

Political consultant specialising in electoral issues, Mexico

Alarcón’s experience in international affairs and economic development will likely shape Mexico’s approach to attracting global businesses and investments. Gómez, a strong contender for the role of Secretary of the Economy, highlights the potential of nearshoring to attract investment and drive economic growth.  

A senior political analyst added, “It remains to be seen what spaces she will give to Adán Augusto – former Secretary of the Interior – for example. Although Tatiana Clouthier reappeared as a strategist, we already know that she is not consistent and that as an interlocutor, she is much weaker, so I would not count her as an access route to Sheinbaum.” The analyst expanded, “someone to keep an eye on is Jesús Valdés Peña [Mexico’s former ambassador to Haiti], who did not have such a high profile but gained notoriety in the campaign.”  

The concept of nearshoring has gained significant traction as global supply chains realign post-pandemic and amidst geopolitical tensions. Investors generally feel that Sheinbaum offers a breath of fresh air and could present a more business-friendly alternative to the previous AMLO administration. Key among her proposals is the aim to spur economic growth without increasing taxes, coupled with a perceived favourable attitude towards foreign investment. “Claudia will know how to choose her battles better; she will try not to burn political capital so quickly.” The political consultant continued, “When necessary, she will need to use the figure of AMLO to gain support for controversial initiatives.” 

“Claudia will know how to choose her battles better; she will try not to burn political capital so quickly.”

Political consultant specialising in electoral issues, Mexico

Sheinbaum’s dual focus on environmental sustainability and economic growth reflects a strategic synergy to modernise Mexico’s economy. Her commitment to renewable energy investments and Pemex’s diversification aligns with global trends towards greener economies. “Opportunities are opening up in environmental issues.” The electoral specialist expanded, “The advantages for the public sector continue because energy is seen not only as strategic but also as a security issue.” By prioritising sustainable practices, Sheinbaum aims to position Mexico as a competitive and forward-thinking player on the international stage, potentially making Mexico a leader in Latin America’s green economy. 

Despite the political polarisation, Claudia Sheinbaum will lead Mexico into a new era of economic and environmental progress. Her blend of progressive policies, commitment to renewable energy and favourable stance towards foreign investment present a comprehensive vision for Mexico’s future. Although the political analyst warned, “I wouldn’t start talking about opportunities at the beginning of the government, I feel that we have to wait to see the composition of the Congress.” 

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