Friday, April 12, 2024
30 C
Brunei Town

Woman senator with Indigenous roots challenges Mexico ruling party

MEXICO CITY (AFP) – A woman senator of Indigenous origin on Tuesday joined the opposition challengers seeking to shake up the race to replace Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador next year.

Initially seen as an outsider, Xochitl Galvez has emerged as the opposition favourite to take on Lopez Obrador’s ruling party, whose leading presidential contender is also a woman.

Lopez Obrador, a left-wing populist, enjoys solid approval ratings but is required by the constitution to step down after a single six-year term.

Two weeks after his Morena party launched its own process to select a candidate, Galvez registered along with lawmakers Santiago Creel and Gabriel Quadri to represent the opposition.

The Broad Front for Mexico groups the Institutional Revolutionary Party, which ruled the country for more than 70 years until 2000, as well as Galvez’s conservative National Action Party, and the leftist Party of the Democratic Revolution.

Xochitl Galvez. PHOTO: AFP

“We have to stop the hatred… the confrontation and solve the big problems,” said Galvez, a loquacious 60-year-old engineer and former head of the National Institute of Indigenous Peoples.

A businesswoman in the technology sector, Galvez has grabbed the media’s attention since she unsuccessfully tried to enter Lopez Obrador’s daily news conference last month to respond to the president’s remarks.

Lopez Obrador on Tuesday branded Galvez the “candidate of the power mafia”, referring to opposition parties that he accuses of having plundered the country.

A day earlier, Galvez had accused the president of chauvinism. “He cannot conceive that a brave, qualified woman can gain a political position by herself,” she said.

Analysts said that Galvez posed a credible challenge to the ruling party, which has been seen as likely to remain in power.

“Morena was very comfortable and sure thinking that the 2024 contest had almost been won,” political analyst Paula Sofia Vazquez said.