Mexicans have turned their political attention and sights toward 2018, a year in which the presidential tenure of Enrique Peña Nieto will conclude, and the presidential election will be held to determine who will succeed him in the executive office. Aside from the importance of the presidential electoral contest, Mexico will also hold elections for the 500 federal house and 124 senate members who make up Mexico’s federal congress. If this were not enough to raise the political temperature of the country, major state elections will take in nine states, including Mexico City’s (CDMX) Head of Government.
It goes without saying that that the presidential election is particularly relevant, given Mexico’s presidential system, which confers broad powers on the president as head of state and head of government. That said, the local election of the Head of Government of the CDMX will be crucial. Mexico City is not only the seat of federal power, but is also the nucleus of the country’s history, politics, society, economy and cultural identity. For the first time the Head of Government will be chosen according to the new Political Constitution of Mexico City. According to the Constitution’s text, 16 mayors will be elected to fill the top posts in the various municipalities that comprise the territory of the Mexican capital, some of which are as large as other major cities in Mexico.
Governorships in numerous large states will also be up for election. As the democratization of political life has progressed, state executives have gained greater independence and autonomy from the federal government. Given increased plurality in Mexico’s political process, it seems each of the major political parties thinks it will come out victorious in the states where elections will take place. This has made this election season particularly important for Mexican politics. States electing new governors include: Jalisco, Veracruz, Guanajuato, Puebla, Tabasco, Chiapas, Yucatán, Morelos and, as noted above, Mexico City. In all, 3,216 public officials will be elected in 2018. While the polls forecasting the upcoming elections have been analyzing the candidates and their probability to win as if it were snapshot of a precise moment, the fact remains that nothing is certain and that a tremendous amount of political activity will ensue and culminate on July 1, 2018, the date Mexico’s federal elections will be held. As a result, the national political thermometer will continue to rise until maximum temperatures are reached.