Gubernatorial elections in Mexico - International Reports
EdoMex and Coahuila - two very different challenges
The electoral calendar of Mexico's 32 states and the respective national elections (every six years the president and the Senate are elected, every three years the Chamber of Deputies) give the country elections practically every year. This year, 2023, this was the case in the states of Coahuila and Estado de Mexico, where governors and state parliaments were elected.
The reality of the two states could hardly be more different:
Estado de México in the centre of Mexico is the most populous state with about 17 million inhabitants (13.55% of the total population), but with its 22,500 km² it represents only 1% of the total area of the country. This is also reflected in its economic performance: EdoMex generates 9.1% of Mexico's total GDP.
In contrast, the state of Coahuila, located on the border to the USA, covers an area of 151,571 km (thus 7.7% of the total area), but has only 3.15 million inhabitants and thus only 2.5% of the total population and also contributes only 3.6% to the total GDP.
Both, on the other hand, have had political realities in common: until this year 2023, they were ruled for about 90 years without interruption by the formerly all-dominant Partido Revolucionario Institucional (PRI).
The political challenge was the same in both cases: From the point of view of the governing coalition led by MORENA, the aim was to conquer these long-standing PRI bastions; from the point of view of the opposition coalition "Va por México" (consisting of the PRI, Partido Acción Nacional - PAN and Partido Revolución Democrática - PRD), further territorial gains by MORENA were to be prevented; and for the PRI in particular, it was important not to lose the all-important state of EdoMex to MORENA as well and thus slip further into political insignificance.
In both cases, the strongest opposition party, PAN, had renounced the top candidacy within the framework of the coalition agreement and allowed PRI candidates to take precedence in order to get a corresponding right of first refusal in 2024 for the candidacy in the capital Ciudad de México and - in a less explicit form - also for the presidential candidacy.