World

Scientist set to become Mexico’s first woman president after deadliest election with 38 assassinations

Claudia Sheinbaum has won Mexico’s election and is set to become the country’s first woman president, according to an official quick count.

The ruling party candidate had between 58.3% and 60.7% of the vote – an unassailable lead, a statistical sample showed, according to the National Electoral Institute.

Opposition candidate Xochitl Galvez, a female rival and former mayor in Mexico City, received 26.6%-28.6% and Jorge Alvarez Maynez picked up 9.9%-10.8%.

Speaking outside a hotel in the capital, Morena candidate Ms Sheinbaum said: “I will become the first woman president of Mexico.”

She said her two competitors had called her and conceded she had won.

The 61-year-old scientist campaigned on continuing the political course set over the last six years by her mentor President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, who was elected in 2018.

She has vowed to carry on with his policies, including a universal pension for the elderly and a programme paying youths to undertake apprenticeships.

Ms Sheinbaum said: “We will dedicate public funds to continue the president’s social programmes.”

She also said there would be a “friendly relationship” with the United States and “we will always defend Mexicans” in the US.

She must balance promises to increase popular welfare policies while inheriting a large budget deficit and low economic growth.

Mexico’s election was its biggest ever, with more than 20,000 congressional and local positions up for grabs, according to the National Electoral Institute.

It was also its bloodiest in modern history after the number of assassinated candidates reached 38 before Sunday’s vote.

Ms Sheinbaum has vowed to improve security but has given few details, and analysts said organised crime groups expanded and deepened their influence during Mr Lopez Obrador’s term.

The country’s constitution prohibits the president from being re-elected.

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