Global Insight: Mexico president tipped to shine

Similarities between Claudia Sheinbaum and former New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern suggest Mexico’s first female president could have a big impact on the world stage, Prof Robert Patman says.

Speaking on Global Insight, the University of Otago international relations specialist compares Sheinbaum to the high-profile Ardern and says the election of the first female president of Mexico in its 200-year history is important domestically and globally.

‘‘I think it's of huge significance. This is a clear break from the past for Mexico,’’ Prof Patman says.

‘‘She has the potential to be a significant international leader.’’

Claudia Sheinbaum gestures to supporters in Mexico City after winning the presidential election....
Claudia Sheinbaum gestures to supporters in Mexico City after winning the presidential election. Photo: Reuters
Like Ardern, Sheinbaum comes across well in media interviews and is breaking new ground in politics.

‘‘Jacinda Ardern broke a few glass ceilings in this country, and I think it's fair to say that Sheinbaum [does the same], and even more so, in Mexico.’’

Mexico and New Zealand take a similar multilateral approach to foreign affairs. That approach might be strengthened by Sheinbaum, Prof Patman says.

‘‘With Claudia Sheinbaum as president, we may actually see a a relatively young international leader who is going to add considerable impetus to multilateralism at a time when it's been under strain and when we've seen the the growth of great power rivalry and unilateralism internationally.

‘‘So, it could make quite a big difference to geopolitics in the world.’’

On this episode of Global Insight, Prof Patman also details Sheinbaum’s background, reacts to the suggestion the 61-year-old might be a puppet of the outgoing president Lopez Obrador, outlines the tensions between Mexico and the United States and discusses Mexico’s struggle to contain violence and corruption.