RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – Mexico’s president, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, reiterated on Monday, July 5, that he would retire from politics in 2024 and mentioned six possible successors from his own political party, among them the capital’s mayor, Claudia Sheinbaum, and foreign minister, Marcelo Ebrard.
“Who can replace me? First, take into account that it is going to be the people who are going to decide. There are very many from the liberal progressive flank,” he answered questioned on the subject during his morning press conference at the National Palace.
He explicitly mentioned, and in order: the head of the Government of the capital, Claudia Sheinbaum; the Foreign Minister, Marcelo Ebrard; the Mexican ambassador to the UN, Juan Ramón de la Fuente; the Mexican ambassador to the United States, Esteban Moctezuma; the Secretary of Economy, Tatiana Clouthier; and the Secretary of Energy, Rocío Nahle.
“Fortunately, there is a generational change,” said the President.
On the other hand, López Obrador did not mention other names thought still to be in the running, such as the Senate majority leader, Ricardo Monreal, or head of the Mexican Social Security Institute (IMSS), Zoé Robledo.
Last Thursday, during an event held by the ruling National Regeneration Movement (Morena) to celebrate three years of López Obrador’s victory, Mayor Claudia Sheinbaum was cheered with shouts of “president”.
Sheinbaum has long seemed strong to succeed López Obrador, ahead of the former mayor and current foreign minister, Marcelo Ebrard. However, both were involved in the subway accident that left 26 dead in May.
López Obrador said on Monday that the tradition of the “tapado”, by which the president in office chose his successor, “is now history,” and now it is “the people who will decide”.
The president again denied that he is seeking reelection in 2024, something is forbidden by the Constitution, and assured that he would retire that year and not return to “participate in politics”.
“I am the oldest president in the history of Mexico. Then I could not (be reelected) besides the fact that my convictions would not allow me to do so”, assured the president.
He reminded people that next year he would be subject to a recall referendum, so that Mexicans may decide whether he should resign or continue at the head of the Government until 2024. However, he was confident that he would win it.
“I will be here if the people so decide. I am going to a consultation in March next year. That doesn’t worry me much; I know that the people will maintain their support. I am more concerned about science and the Creator,” he said.