The Profile of AMLO’s Six Presidential Succession Cards

Six names are in the running for the Morena party's candidacy for the presidency of Mexico, currently held by AMLO. Here are the profiles of each of them.

Adán Agusto López, Claudia Sheinbaum, Marcelo Ebrard, Ricardo Monreal, Manuel Velasco, Gerardo Fernández

Photos: TW-adan_augusto, TW-Claudiashein, TW-m_ebrard, TW-RicardoMonrealA, TW-VelascoM_, TW-fernandeznorona

LatinAmerican Post | Luis Angel Hernández Liborio

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Leer en español: El perfil de las seis cartas de AMLO en la sucesión presidencial

Although electoral times have not yet legally begun, the race for the Mexican presidency has already begun. Morena, on the one hand, and the opposition, on the other, have mapped out the route for the election of their candidate. In the ruling alliance, the race is closed to six candidates: four from Morena, one from the Labour Party (PT), and one from the Green Party (PVEM). Whether it is a product of the president or the party's process, the candidate's choice is strategic for the continuity of the ruling party.

A Montage of the President?

Trying to differentiate himself from the old PRI regime, in which the president chose his successor, López Obrador said he would not interfere in the electoral contest. Still, the opposition doubts that this will be fulfilled. The president's profile leads analysts to believe that López Obrador has already chosen his candidate and that the process only gives him legitimacy; after all, the party, Morena, and the candidate's strength depend entirely on him. The six aspirants to the candidacy signed a unity agreement closing ranks with the party, in addition to submitting to rules that include recognizing the results of the poll that will define the chosen candidate, separating themselves from their official posts, and not exceeding the pre-campaign spending limit of almost 300,000 dollars.

The profiles of the ruling party

Adán Agusto López (59 years old), former Secretary of the Interior and former governor of Tabasco (AMLO's birthplace). Of the four Morena candidates, he was the last to enter the race; it was the president himself who, last April, 'unveiled' him as one of his possible successors. Although his profile has risen since then, he is still far behind the two frontrunners. His disadvantage is that he is perhaps the least known nationally of the six contenders. His advantage, besides being a fellow countryman of the president, is his loyalty to him, which would guarantee an unbroken continuity of the current model.​​​​​​​

Claudia Sheinbaum (61 years old), Mexico City's head of government on leave, is AMLO's favorite to become the country's first female president. She is part of López Obrador's closest circle and guarantees the continuity of the "Fourth Transformation" to the letter without significant changes. Her proposals are linked to the president's, so her candidacy depends on him. Her disadvantage is her performance as governor; the accident on line 12 of the metro will take its toll on her; for the opposition, Sheinbaum would be easy for the president to handle.

You can also read: Elections in Guatemala: Between A Novice And Traditional Politics

Marcelo Ebrard (63), former Secretary of Foreign Affairs and former head of government of the Federal District (now CDMX). Together with Sheinbaum, he is the other favorite, he succeeded AMLO as governor in 2006 in the Mexican capital, and in 2012 he gave up his presidential aspirations so that the current president could run against Enrique Peña Nieto. He is linked to the tragedy of line 12 of the CDMX metro, as it was built during his administration with accusations of corruption, which led him to exile in France. AMLO "rescued" him from exile to integrate him into the cabinet. The problem is that Sheinbaum seems to have presidential approval. Still, she has the advantage that part of the opposition approves of her, even as a possible candidate, in case she loses her party. Although he represents continuity, his proposals tend to have more reasonable solutions that keep him as a profile more independent from AMLO's figure.

Ricardo Monreal (62 years old), senator on leave of absence and former governor of Zacatecas. In 2018, he lost the candidacy for the CDMX City Council to Claudia Sheinbaum, so he was on the verge of leaving Morena to become an opposition candidate. A meeting with AMLO was enough for him to close ranks with him. He is a problematic profile for the president. Although close to him, he has his agenda and political strength. In recent months he distanced himself from AMLO and seemed to embrace the opposition, but again a meeting with him fixed the problem, although his final position will depend on the poll's outcome. His eventual victory represents a pragmatic government that fits with continuity. Although he is close to much of the opposition, it is difficult to know which way he would tip the balance.

Manuel Velasco (43 years old), a federal deputy on leave and former governor of Chiapas: PVEM candidate, allied with Morena. His party is now more significant than the PRI, holding two governorships. Velasco's candidacy looks distant. He might seek a better position for his party in the next government; he will sell the PVEM's support for the ruling alliance at a high price. The PVEM was a chameleon-like party considered opportunistic, and it was in government in three of the four periods of this century: 2000-2006 with the PAN, 2012-2018 with the PRI, and 2018-2024 with Morena. Nothing rules out that a better offer from the opposition will make it join their ranks in 2024.

Gerardo Fernández Noroña (63 years old), licensed federal deputy. He is the only candidate, not a former governor; he belongs to the Labour Party, a loyal ally of the president in different elections. Although Noroña sympathizes with López Obrador, he represents the more radical left than the president himself. He supports governments like Venezuela, Bolivia, and Cuba and opposes relations with the United States. These aspects put him at a disadvantage, and he does not belong to Morena, which means that his party's agenda does not always fit in with the president's. Noroña said he felt snubbed by AMLO; he was the last to be invited to the candidate selection process. If the poll does not favor him, it could not be ruled out that he could go it alone as a candidate. Noroña is extremely popular thanks to his positions against the United States, the opposition, and capitalism.

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