Claudia Sheinbaum Will Face Two Major Challenges in Her Government, Warns Ricardo Raphael

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As the President of Mexico, Claudia Sheinbaum’s main challenge will be practicing conciliatory politics with the opposition to achieve consensus that helps her tackle significant threats at the beginning of her term, according to political analyst Ricardo Raphael.

To achieve this approach, the country’s first female president will need to do something that the current president, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, never did: engage in conciliatory politics.

“As the saying goes: it takes two to dance tango,” explained Ricardo Raphael, emphasizing that conciliatory politics depends not only on the ruling party but also on the opposition playing their part.

In an interview with Infobae, the political analyst outlined the primary “threats” that the virtual president-elect must address in the short term, even before taking office. He discussed the role of the opposition and its leadership in the face of this new electoral defeat, highlighting Sheinbaum Pardo’s need to build agreements with her opponents.

Raphael also predicted the behavior of current President López Obrador after the election, the presidential succession, and his supposed withdrawal from public life.

Sheinbaum Needs to Bridge the Gap with the Opposition

According to the political scientist, Claudia Sheinbaum will not only need to “move toward the center” of the political spectrum, as the current president has warned, but she will also have to forge agreements with the opposition.

“She will have to demonstrate a much higher level of political acumen than what we have seen, because López Obrador did not need to engage in politics with the opposition. However, the next president will,” cautioned Ricardo Raphael.

This conciliatory approach will need to be implemented promptly because, according to Raphael, there are two very serious threats: the first is violence, which has been the country’s main problem for decades.

“Can we confront such violent forces with a divided, fragmented political class? My answer is no,” explained the writer, emphasizing that Claudia Sheinbaum will have to make an enormous effort to implement state measures that pacify the country.

The second threat has a name: Donald Trump, the former President of the United States. He seeks to return to the White House and will likely repeat the electoral campaign recipe that propelled him to the presidency, affecting our country, primarily in terms of the economy.

If Claudia Sheinbaum Wins, What Would Be Her First Challenge, especially in the Short Term?

For the second half (of 2024), in Mexico, it seems to me that the most relevant issues are two very serious, very grave threats, which, by the way, have nothing to do with the profile, character, or personality of the winner, but with the country’s circumstances.

One of these great challenges is Donald Trump […] he will run a very tough campaign, as he has done on other occasions, against the country. He will put the renewal of our trade agreement with Canada, the United States, and Mexico into dispute by 2025, which could plunge the country into a very serious, very grave economic problem, because of the famous nearshoring, because of the strength of our peso, because much of our industrial plant will be under significant pressure, but it will be very delicate.

In this sense, I wonder if a government alone, without doing politics with the opposition, can face this onslaught.

Whoever wins will have to, not only move to the center, as President López Obrador said in one of his interviews, but also build political agreements between the government and the opposition to face, in a reconciled manner, those issues that are common to us regardless of the party they belong to.

The winner will have to offer a much higher level of political craftsmanship than what we have seen because López Obrador did not need to engage in politics with the opposition, but the next president will.

Almost in the same vein, I need to talk about the lack of peace in many regions of our country, that is […] can we confront such violent firepower with a divided, fragmented political class? My answer is no. Whoever wins will have to make an enormous effort, a muscular, very powerful effort, precisely to take state measures that allow pacifying the country.

Who Will Claudia Negotiate With?

The analyst warned that after the presidential defeat, the opposition and its leadership will not be the same: “Who will be the interlocutors the next day? Because in defeat come the divorces, and Xóchitl Gálvez may simply lower the curtain, leave, and say ‘this is as far as I go’ […] and, at that moment, who do we talk to?”

Ricardo Raphael doubts that, after the defeat, Marko Cortés will continue to lead the PAN and Alejandro “Alito” Moreno will do the same in the PRI. Therefore, we will have to wait for the new leadership of the opposition.

“Claudia Sheinbaum not only has to put her house and the Morena factions in order, which are complicated, but power will serve to grease and make it work, but she would also have to have the opposition in order to have someone to agree with,” he assured.

And the Role of the Opposition?

It takes two to dance tango, the winner not only has to make an offer of conciliation but needs the remaining opposition to also play in favor of that reconciliatory effect, and here the discussion becomes very interesting because with the current opposition, led by the PAN, PRI, and PRD coalition, who will be the interlocutors the next day, because in defeat come the divorces, and Xóchitl Gálvez may simply lower the curtain, leave, and say ‘this is as far as I go’.

At that moment, who do we talk to? With Marko Cortés who will be out within the PAN? With Jorge Romero who would be the next leader of the PAN? With which leadership in the PRI can we talk? When even the former governors of the State of Mexico are all resigning, all that’s left is for Enrique Peña Nieto to resign so that a fundamental part of the PRI, that of the State of Mexico, survives. Will ‘Alito’ be the one who stays? How will they replace Alejandro Moreno’s leadership within the PRI?

These questions are crucial because in the event that Claudia Sheinbaum wins, she not only needs to put her own house in order and manage the complexities within Morena, but she also has to deal with the opposition to find common ground.

Ricardo Raphael doesn’t fully believe that President López Obrador will completely retire to his ranch in Chiapas after finishing his term. He envisions several scenarios where López Obrador might be compelled to return.

“I don’t quite buy López Obrador’s argument that he will retire completely because there will come a moment when responsibility calls him back. It might even be considered deceptive to claim responsibility when he might not truly be absent,” said the political analyst.

Raphael suggests that López Obrador will grant Claudia Sheinbaum a significant margin of action, at least until the Revocation of Mandate, which is a new rule in Mexico’s democratic game. During this time, López Obrador is expected to continue his daily press briefings, solidifying his legacy. The coexistence between the two leaders may not be easy: López Obrador has divided society, while Sheinbaum aims to unite it. López Obrador has stated that he won’t interfere with Sheinbaum’s administration.

“Perhaps López Obrador will leave her with a barrier of at least three years to carry out her own tasks,” Raphael added.

Depending on the arrangements made within Morena regarding the 2030 presidential succession, we might see López Obrador return, perhaps with one foot in or none.

Source: Infobae