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Mexican Voters Chose Populism Over Democracy

Claudia Sheinbaum’s landslide victory in this week’s presidential election raises significant concerns about the future of Mexico’s young democracy. If she pursues outgoing President Andrés Manuel López Obrador’s electoral and judicial reforms, she will effectively eliminate Mexico’s remaining checks and balances.

MEXICO CITY – Mexico’s elections delivered numerous surprises but few certainties. Claudia Sheinbaum, a protégé of outgoing President Andrés Manuel López Obrador (known as AMLO), won in a landslide, defeating her closest opponent by more than 30 percentage points and becoming the country’s first female president-elect. Her party, Morena, won seven of the nine contested state governorships, as well as Mexico City’s mayoral election. Even more significantly, the party nearly achieved a two-thirds supermajority in both houses of Congress.