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Country Reports

Gubernatorial elections in Mexico

Clear results and no surprises

The last gubernatorial elections before the 2024 presidential election in the states of Coahuila and Estado de México confirmed the forecasts and polls before the election on 4 June. In Estado de México, the most populous state, MORENA candidate Delfina Gómez won by a wide margin, ending over 90 years of PRI rule. In Coahuila, however, the PRI candidate of the opposition coalition "Va por México", Manolo Jiménez, won as expected. With this event, the political focus and the corresponding speculation and debates are now also entirely on the presidential election due in June 2024 and thus on the succession to the incumbent president, Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO).

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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.

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Hans-Hartwig Blomeier

Hans Blomeier

Head of the KAS office Mexico +52 55 55664599

Michaela Braun

Michaela Braun bild

Desk Officer for Central America and Mexico +49 - (0) 30 - 269 96 - 39 88 +49 - (0) 30 - 269 96 - 534 44


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