AMLO’s Succession Battle Kicks off with New Campaign Rules
By KELIN DILLON
As Mexico’s highly anticipated 2024 presidential election approaches, Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO) outlined the officially campaign rules for his potential party successors – namely, Mexico City Governor Claudia Sheinbaum, Secretary of the Interior Adán Augusto López Hernández, Secretary of Foreign Relations (SRE) Marcelo Ebrard and Senate Majority Leader Ricardo Monreal Ávila – on Monday, June 7, prompting the aspiring candidates to quickly take action in hopes of securing their place as the National Regeneration Movement’s presidential candidate in 2024.
First and foremost, López Obrador requested his hopeful successors hand in the definitive resignation of their currently held government position by Thursday, June 15, at the latest, an ask Ebrard fulfilled precisely one day later as he announced his resignation from the SRE on Tuesday, June 6.
However, despite Ebrard’s preemptive actions, the party’s actual selection of its potential presidential candidates will take place on Sunday, June 11, during the National Council of Morena, which will also outline the guidelines for its chosen candidates’ resignation.
AMLO’s other regulations for his presidential succession battle include no debates or confrontations between the aspiring successors throughout the campaign process, which was outlined by the federal executive to last from June 15 and the third week of August of this year.
Following the campaign period, a national survey will be held at the end of August to gauge the public’s reaction to the candidates; the winner of said survey will then be declared Coordinator of the Committees for the Defense of the Fourth Transformation, and afterwards registered as Morena’s official presidential candidate in the 2024 elections, while second and third place will earn respective positions as Morena’s Senate and Chamber of Deputies coordinator, and fourth will be relegated to the presidential cabinet.
Candidates will be prohibited to speak ill of Morena in the media or public sphere, and Morena’s sitting governors and officials are forbidden from declaring their favor of any of the candidates before the campaign has concluded, after which they are expected to fall in line and support the party’s official presidential candidate in turn.
While AMLO’s rules were purportedly supposed to set an outline of what to expect to from Morena’s interparty battle, Ebrard’s early-announcement of his resignation – a smart move for a man in his position and of his past, political analysts say – has put the pressure on Morena’s other expected presidential aspirants to put in their own resignations, sooner rather than later, to level the playing field across the summer campaign, as confirmed by Morena’s party President Mario Delgado.
“Guaranteeing a fair process will require everyone to be on an equal footing. If they remained in office, it would be very difficult to debate whether or not there are fair conditions. For some it has advantages and disadvantages. I think it gives greater certainty that they are out of office,” said Delgado.
Sheinbaum herself expected to deliver the future of her own potential candidacy, and subsequent resignation from her post as the head of Mexico City, during a public conference set for Monday, June 12. With that being said, political analysts have noted that Sheinbaum’s removal from the financial and social resources provided by her status as Mexico City’s head of government could put a dent in her campaign, as Sheinbaum will no longer benefit from a budget capable that’s previously allowed her to put on massive concerts from international superstars to hundreds of thousands in the Zócalo for free.
Former Chiapas Governor and current Green Ecologist Party of Mexico (PVEM) Senator Manuel Velasco also threw his hat in the ring, announcing his intentions to resign from his senatorial post on Wednesday, June 7, and requesting the same treatment in the race as a member of a Morena-affiliated party rather than directly belonging to Morena itself.
Meanwhile, Morena’s other anticipated candidates, López Hernández and Monreal, noted that they would wait for the National Council of Morena’s decision before announcing any intentions to resign from their positions, though Monreal noted that he “respected the strategy” of Ebrard’s resignation and its impact on the race moving forward.
Though AMLO has made his wishes clear in the quest for his presidential successor, nothing is set in stone until the National Council of Morena reaches a consensus on Sunday, June 11 – after which, many of the nation’s most significant government positions are anticipated to be left with a void ready to be filled by a new crop of ambitious politicians.