A Winning Streak

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Mexico’s ruling party won Sunday’s gubernatorial elections in the country’s most populous state, a victory that observers describe as a key test ahead of next year’s general polls, the Financial Times reported.

Delfina Gómez Álvarez, the candidate for President Andrés Manuel López Obrador’s Morena party, secured more than 52 percent of the vote in the State of Mexico elections. Her opponent, Alejandra del Moral of the Institutional Revolutionary party (PRI), won 44.3 percent.

The results were a major loss for the PRI, which had held control of the state for nearly a century. Even so, the party still secured a win in the elections of Coahuila state, which borders Texas.

While winning the State of Mexico – with a population of almost 17 million – does not translate into a national victory, analysts noted that it showed a clear advantage for López Obrador’s party ahead of the 2024 elections.

They added that the state poll was a referendum on López Obrador, a leftist populist leader who has maintained strong support since his term began in December 2018. Many of his supporters cite his social programs aimed at the elderly and the rural population, as well as his corruption-free image.

Still, the president has attracted controversy in recent months after pushing for a legal package that slashed the budget of Mexico’s electoral commission. The move sparked mass protests across the country, with critics lamenting that the decision would impact the institution’s integrity ahead of the national polls.

The Supreme Court struck down part of the package, prompting López Obrador to criticize the judiciary and the media for derailing his agenda.

Despite his popularity, the constitution does not allow the incumbent to run for another six-year term and the race to find his replacement has been underway for months.

Meanwhile, the alliance between the PRI and the center-right National Action party has struggled to select a candidate to challenge the Morena party.

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