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Mexico is choosing a new president. Here's why the election is historic.

Voters on Sunday are expected to elect Mexico's first female president

MEXICO CITY - Mexicans were poised Sunday to elect the country's first female president in a historic vote that underscored the nation's progress on gender equity but also highlighted concerns about the weakening of its democratic institutions.

Claudia Sheinbaum, 61, an engineering professor and former Mexico City mayor, held a strong lead in polls before the vote. She's a protégé of President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, one of Latin America's most popular leaders. López Obrador has built a devoted base by increasing aid to the poor, but has been criticized for concentrating power and giving the military a growing role in the economy and public security. Mexico's constitution limits the president to a single six-year term.

Sheinbaum faces Xóchitl Gálvez, 61, a tech entrepreneur with Indigenous origins. She has promised to spur economic growth and curb the rising power of organized crime groups, evident in the scores of attacks on candidates and their aides during the campaign. Gálvez represents a coalition of traditional parties that have struggled to catch up to the juggernaut that is López Obrador's Morena movement.


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