As anticipated, Xóchitl Gálvez, the 60-year-old senator from the National Action Party (PAN), will be the opposition alliance’s candidate in next year’s presidential election.
Her nomination was assured this week after her main rival, Beatriz Paredes of the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI), conceded when the final round of the “primary process” showed Galvez to have an insurmountable lead.
Galvez will represent an alliance of three parties—the PAN, PRI and Party of the Democratic Revolution (PRD)—known as the Frente Amplio de Mexico (FAM)—against the candidate of the ruling party of President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, the Movimiento Regeneración Nacional (Morena).
Current polling puts Galvez between ten and 15 percentage points behind any of the Morena candidates, who is expected to be announced on September 6. The latest surveys show former Mexico City Mayor Claudia Sheinbaum leading former Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard by a comfortable margin.
A third candidate from the Movimiento Ciudadano (Citizens Movement or MC) will also be chosen later this month. The MC national leadership has declined to join the FAM alliance, despite dissension from many of its members, including Jalisco Governor Enrique Alfaro, who last week announced he was leaving the party and the political scene (see sidebar right). Most bets are on MC’s youthful governor of Nuevo Leon, Samuel Garcia, to be their candidate. Polls show he could garner anywhere between five and 10 percent of the national vote.
But with the presidential election still many months away (June 2, 2024), there remains the possibility that MC could change its mind at some stage and join the coalition, thus making the race between the Morena candidate and Galvez much closer.
What now for the PRI?