MEXICO CITY – The left coalition led by the National Regeneration Movement (Morena) won four state governorships and the capital mayor’s office in Sunday’s Mexican general elections, according to exit polls.
Claudia Sheinbaum will be the next mayor of Mexico City, survey firm Consulta Mitofsky said, projecting that the Morena standard-bearer will end up with a least 47 percent of the vote in a three-way race.
Morena candidates are also on track to become governors in the Gulf coast state of Veracruz, the southern states of Tabasco and Chiapas, and the central state of Morelos, Mitofsky said.
Eight governor’s races were on the ballot Sunday.
Some 89 million voters were eligible to cast ballots for a new president and candidates running for some 3,400 other posts in 30 of Mexico’s 32 states.
With polls still open in Mexico’s western states, the first provisional official results were not expected until late Sunday night.
The presidential frontrunner going into the contest was Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, founder and leader of Morena.
Conservative Ricardo Anaya, heading a coalition made up of the National Action Party (PAN), the Party of the Democratic Revolution (PRD) and the Citizens Movement, was in second place in most public opinion polls ahead of the election.
Jose Antonio Meade, the candidate of the governing Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI), the Mexican Green Party and the Nueva Alianza, was in third place in the polls.
Jaime Rodriguez Calderon, known as “El Bronco” and the first independent candidate to compete in a presidential election in Mexico, occupied fourth place in most polls.
Lopez Obrador cast his ballot at a polling place in the capital and urged Mexicans to vote and “start the fourth transformation in the public life of the country” following “independence, the reforms and the revolution.”
“We are deciding between more of the same or real change,” the 64-year-old Lopez Obrador said.
The former Mexico City mayor made fighting corruption one of the main issues in his presidential campaign.
“We are going to free the country of corruption, which is the principal problem in Mexico,” Lopez Obrador said.
Anaya, a 39-year-old lawyer and former PAN chairman, said he was confident about the election’s outcome.
“A strong turnout favors us,” Anaya said. “We’re going to win.”
The conservative politician said he did not expect any problems regarding the election results.
“I’m convinced the results are going to be respected. Democracy is going to win today. It’s going to be a great day and it’ll be a historic one for Mexico,” Anaya told reporters after voting.
Meade, for his part, told reporters he was “happy to have participated in this democratic exercise as a candidate and also as a citizen.”
The 49-year-old former foreign relations secretary said he was confident of victory on Sunday.
“I’m absolutely sure of a win for me,” Meade told reporters, adding that he was feeling good despite polls showing that he was in third place.
The 60-year-old Rodriguez, the first independent candidate to win a governorship in Mexico, will be the last to vote, casting his ballot at a polling place in Garcia, a city in the northern state of Nuevo Leon.
A total of 907 election observers from 60 countries have been deployed across Mexico.