Friday, 12 July, 2024, Reg No- 06
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In historic first, Mexicans expected to elect woman president

Published : Saturday, 1 June, 2024 at 12:00 AM  Count : 645

MEXICO CITY, May 31: Millions of Mexicans are expected to vote for their first woman president in a landmark election Sunday, following a long and sometimes acrimonious race overshadowed by soaring political violence.

In a watershed for a country with a long history of gender discrimination, two women have dominated the contest to lead the worlds most populous Spanish-speaking country.

Addressing a cheering crowd of thousands at her closing campaign rally, ruling party candidate Claudia Sheinbaum said Mexico was going to "make history" this weekend.

"I say to the young women, to all the women of Mexico -- colleagues, friends, sisters, daughters, mothers and grandmothers -- you are not alone," the 61-year-old said.

Her vow to champion womens rights was music to the ears of Evelyn Trasvina. "Im very excited," said the 42-year-old accountant from western Mexico.

"Many people have been lifted out of poverty and one of the promises is the recognition of womens unpaid work," she told AFP.
Sheinbaum, a former Mexico City mayor and a scientist by training, was leading her main opposition rival Xochitl Galvez, also 61, by around 17 points in opinion polls days before the election.

Nearly 100 million people are registered to vote in the country of 129 million, and 61-year-old housewife Rosa Maria Miranda said that criminal violence meant Galvez would get her support. "We women are fed up. We e afraid to go out into the streets," she said.

The campaign season ended on a tragic note Wednesday when a gunman shot dead an aspiring mayor in the southern state of Guerrero.

The attack brought the number of local politicians who have been murdered to at least 24 during what has been a particularly violent electoral process, according to official figures.

Some non-governmental organizations have reported an even higher toll, including Data Civica, which has counted around 30 killings.

Sheinbaum has pledged to continue outgoing President Andres Manuel Lopez Obradors controversial "hugs not bullets" strategy of tackling crime at its roots.

Galvez, meanwhile, promised a tougher approach to cartel-related violence.

"You will have the bravest president, a president who does confront crime," the outspoken senator and businesswoman with Indigenous roots told her closing rally in the northern city of Monterrey.

She accused Lopez Obrador of implementing "a security strategy where hugs have been for criminals and bullets for citizens."    —AFP

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