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Mexico president’s ruling party wins crucial election in country’s most populous state

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In a major boost for President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, his ruling Morena party has won the governorship of the State of Mexico, the country’s most populous and politically influential state, ending nearly a century of uninterrupted rule by the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI).

According to preliminary results from the National Electoral Institute, Delfina Gómez, a former schoolteacher and ally of López Obrador, secured between 52.1% and 54.2% of the votes, defeating Alejandra del Moral, who represented a coalition of opposition parties, including the PRI, the conservative National Action Party and the leftist Party of the Democratic Revolution.

The outcome was confirmed by del Moral’s concession speech late Sunday night, after a largely peaceful day of voting that saw the participation of around 50% of eligible voters.

The victory marks a new low for the PRI, which governed Mexico uninterrupted for 71 years until losing power in 2000 and had ruled the State of Mexico for even longer. The state, which surrounds Mexico City on three sides, is home to more than 16 million people and accounts for nearly 10% of the national GDP.

The result also strengthens López Obrador’s political clout ahead of the 2024 presidential election, in which his Morena party is considered the frontrunner.

Gómez, who will become the state’s first female governor, has campaigned largely on the support for López Obrador’s popular social programs and his anti-corruption agenda. She has also pledged to address the issues of inequality, violence and femicide that plague the state.

Morena also won four other state elections on Sunday, consolidating its control over 17 out of 32 states in Mexico. The PRI-led coalition managed to retain only one state, Coahuila, in the north.

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