MEXICO CITY — Mexico’s foreign minister and the capital city’s mayor both resigned Monday to focus on running for president next year, with the ruling leftist party favored to win.
The minister, Marcelo Ebrard, and Mexico City’s Mayor Claudia Sheinbaum announced within minutes of each other that they were stepping down as they seek to become the Morena party’s candidate to succeed Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador in the June 2024 vote.
Sheinbaum, 60 and of Jewish Bulgarian and Lithuanian descent, said she wants to be “the first woman in the history of Mexico to lead the fates of the nation.” Her resignation takes effect Friday.
Ebrard said last week he would be leaving the foreign ministry and made it official Monday in a meeting with the president.
“Starting today, I will dedicate myself to another very important task,” said 63-year-old Ebrard, referring to the work of pushing on with Lopez Obrador’s leftist policies.
Other hopefuls to be the Morena candidate include Interior Minister Adan Augusto Lopez.
The presidential, congressional and gubernatorial voting is scheduled for June of next year.
The Morena party is scheduled to choose its candidate through a national poll over the course of several days in late August and early September.
Sheinbaum has been mayor of Mexico’s sprawling capital since 2018. If she wins, she would become the first woman to govern the country with Latin America’s second largest economy, after that of Brazil.
Of the Morena hopefuls for president, Sheinbaum is seen as the one closest to Lopez Obrador, whose party is favored to hold on to the presidency for another six-year term, no matter who the candidate ends up being, according to polling.
Mexican presidents can serve only one term.
“The early polls that have been carried out put us in first place and I am sure it will stay this way,” Sheinbaum said Monday.