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Claudia Sheinbaum leads the polls.
2024/03/04 | Andrés Pérez M. & Julio Ruiz

The official presidential campaign kicked off on March 1st and is set to end three days before June 2nd election. In their inaugural campaign speeches, the leading presidential candidates Claudia Sheinbaum and Xóchitl Gálvez, from the ruling party and the opposition coalition, respectively, presented some of their first proposals. The latest poll (El Financiero) showed Sheinbaum in the lead with 50%, and Xóchitl from the opposition coalition at a distant second place with 33%, and Álvarez from the Movimiento Ciudadano (MC) opposition party with 8% of voter support.

Sheinbaum's first proposals


In our view, presidential candidate Sheinbaum's proposals point to policy continuity with the current administration. Macroeconomic stability will continue to be an important focus, while fiscal expenditure in AMLO’s social programs will continue.  Recent reforms sent by AMLO are also likely to be supported if Sheinbaum wins the presidency. On the energy sector, state oil company PEMEX would likely continue to benefit from sovereign support. While Sheinbaum seems open for private participation in the electricity sector (including renewable energies), they would be keen on the public sector keeping more than 50% of the market share. See the details below.


  • Economic & social policies


Proposals intend to maintain macroeconomic stability. Sheinbaum wants to maintain financial and fiscal discipline, respecting the central bank's autonomy and a reasonable balance in public debt to GDP. While she did not mention a tax reform, she emphasized they plan on bolstering their efforts to reduce tax evasion.


Several policies from the current administration would continue. Her policy plans include universal pension (non-contributive); pensions for persons with disabilities; job training programs for younger age groups; scholarships for low-income families; fertilizers support; support for small farmers (“Sembrando Vida”); guaranteeing prices for agricultural products (the government buys certain agricultural products when the prices are low); subsidy to the gasoline excise tax; freeze electricity tariffs in real terms among others. The minimum wage will continue increasing but at an average pace of around 11% (compared to an average pace of around 20% in AMLO’s administration).


She would also support AMLO’s constitutional initiatives sent last month (please see our published note for further details), which we previously noted as an inheritance for Sheinbaum’s administration. Among the reforms included in her plan are the pension reform (increasing replacement rates of defined contribution pensioners financed through the creation of a fund); establish a minimum salary (in line with average formal sector salaries) for teachers, police, soldiers, nurses and medics; forbidding GMO maize and fracking; elect judges (including from regular and electoral courts) by popular vote; lower spending on the electoral institute; forbidding open pit mining concessions.


Among new polices included in her plan, relative to the current administration, are: freezing gas prices in real terms; a temporary non-contributive pension (60-64) for women; additional support for low-income farmers.


  • Energy polices


Further support to PEMEX, state oil company, and CFE, state electricity company would be likely. Candidate Sheinbaum noted she want to continue strengthening state energy companies in her inaugural speech. Like the current administration, oil refining, would be an important focus in her energy plans.

While her plans in the electricity sector allow for private participation (including renewable energies), they would want the public sector to keep most of the market share.  Here energy policy plans include supporting the development of renewable energies, which would reduce costs: photovoltaic, wind, hydraulic, geothermal plants, green hydrogen, the promotion of solar panels on the roofs of homes and businesses. However, the CFE would keep the current market share of 54%, which was obtained after private company, Iberdrola, sold several plants to the government.


  • Nearshoring


Sheinbaum’s plans welcome the investment related to nearshoring, but not at the expense of fair salaries and labor rights. Her proposal includes the creation of development poles to foster investment throughout the country. She believes the less industrialized southern part of Mexico should also benefit from nearshoring investment.


  • Security


Her proposal on security seems similar to the current administration’s. Besides tackling the causes of insecurity through social programs, a better coordination of law enforcement agencies and using the national guard (semi militarized agency) are among the polices to reduce insecurity. Her speech emphasized her policy would not be of confrontation or war with organized crime.   


Xóchitl's first proposals


Xóchitl Gálvez focused her inaugural speech on security polices. Still, from previous interventions we also have a sense of some possible economic, energy & social policies.


  • Security


Among the policies mentioned: demilitarize the national guard; remove civilian functions to the military; increase resources to use technology for fighting crime; build a high security prison; improve labor conditions of police force; work closely with the U.S to stop arms and fentanyl flows.

  • Economic, energy & social policies


In previous interviews, Xóchitl noted she wants higher income citizens to pay more taxes while strengthening revenue by fostering employment growth of the lower income brackets.  She would like to reopen oil bidding, while increasing renewable energy. She also noted that it is important to promote the rule of law, boost energy supply, resolve the country water shortages, invest in human capital and training workers; and boosting infrastructure.


Xóchitl has not ruled out keeping some of the social programs of the current administration.  Among the social programs she would keep are the universal pension (non-contributive), scholarships and youngsters job training program.  However, at the same time she wants to bring back some social programs eliminated by AMLO, such as public daycares.

Looking forward, there will be three debates before the June 2nd election, scheduled for April 7, April 28 and May 19.