Mexico elects Claudia Sheinbaum as its first female president

Left-wing climate researcher Claudia Sheinbaum from Mexico has received enough votes to develop into the Latin American country's first female president.

The country's electoral institute published a fast count estimate Late Sunday evening, it was announced that Sheinbaum had won the presidential election. The estimate had a margin of error of +/-1.5 percent, the institute said.

After dominating the polls for months, Sheinbaum defeated her rival, center-right businesswoman Xóchitl Gálvez, within the tie-breaking vote.

A protégé of her longtime ally and mentor Andrés Manuel López Obrador, Sheinbaum is now poised to succeed AMLO when his six-year term as president ends on October 1.

In a speech after the preliminary results were announced, Sheinbaum said, in response to a CNBC translation, that the federal government would practice “republican austerity, financial and fiscal discipline and autonomy,” adding that the country would “never have an authoritarian or oppressive government.”

“We will maintain the necessary separation between economic and political power. We will always defend and work for the highest interest of the Mexican people and the nation,” she said.

Sheinbaum also outlined a broad vision of Mexico's relations with the United States under her leadership. “With the United States, there will be a relationship of friendship, mutual respect and equality, as has been the case so far. And we will always defend the Mexicans who are on the other side of the border,” she said.

The US dollar was little modified against the Mexican peso at around 1 a.m. local time.

Current President Lopez Obrador congratulated Sheinbaum on becoming the country's first female prime minister in 200 years in a video address translated by CNBC: “The name of Mexico has been raised high again. It is a pride to be Mexican.”

Sheinbaum, a former mayor of Mexico City who was dubbed the “Ice Lady” by her political rivals, has promised to largely proceed AMLO's policies and has received the support of his ruling Morena party.

Sheinbaum previously co-authored a report by the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Nevertheless, the 61-year-old didn’t make climate threats to Mexico the central theme of her campaign.

Analysts have said Mexico's next government will face significant fiscal and structural challenges and can have to make difficult decisions in balancing investment plans, its popular – but costly – social programs and, perhaps most significantly, Pemex. The state-owned oil company has struggled for years with rising debt levels and lower than expected oil production.

“Without a concrete solution to Pemex's obvious problem, neither external market sentiment nor rating agencies are convinced of Sheinbaum's financial capabilities,” analysts at Verisk Maplecroft wrote in a recent study.

“Their main proposal – postponing the problem by refinancing Pemex's upcoming debt ($6.8 billion in 2025, followed by $10.5 billion in 2026 – and a total of $39 billion by the end of the decade) – is unlikely to go down well with investors given Pemex's deep structural problems,” they added.

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