On Sunday, June 4th, Mexico’s ruling party captured one of the biggest strongholds of the opposition, preliminary results showed, consolidating President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador’s hold on power ahead of the contest to succeed him next year.
Lopez Obrador’s leftist National Regeneration Movement (MORENA) was expected to win the State of Mexico gubernatorial election by about 8 to 10 percentage points, according to a projection by the state’s electoral institute.
The victory adds Mexico’s most populous region to the 21 other states MORENA already controls, now more than two-thirds of the total. Another state is governed by a group allied to MORENA, giving the party a huge power base heading into the presidential elections due to be held on June 2, 2024.
Sunday’s result also dropped Mexico’s erstwhile political powerhouse, the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI), to a new low, marking another milestone in its replacement by MORENA as the establishment party in Latin America’s no. 2 economy.
The centrist PRI has governed the State of Mexico since 1929, the date from which it began its long domination of Mexico. Defeated for the presidency in 2000, it bounced back in 2012 but was drubbed by Lopez Obrador six years later.
“We defeated corruption and neglect,” MORENA’s triumphant candidate Delfina Gomez told cheering supporters after the vote, hailing the PRI’s ousting. “For the first time, we’ll have a government serving those who are most vulnerable.”
Gomez, who narrowly lost the previous state election, will be the State of Mexico’s first female governor.
With 66% of returns from polling stations, Gomez had 53% of the vote. Her rival, Alejandra del Moral, a PRI politician heading a coalition of opposition parties, had 44%.