The new selection process has changed that tradition, but concerns persist over a lack of clarity and other irregularities that have been denounced by some analysts and other presidential hopefuls. Both the governing party, Morena, and the broad opposition coalition, called the Broad Front for Mexico, used public opinion polls “that have not been fully transparent,” Ms. Freidenberg added, “and are not necessarily considered democratic procedures.”
The new procedures also ignored federal campaign regulations, with those at the helm of the process in both the governing party and the opposition moving the selection forward by a few months and cryptically calling Ms. Sheinbaum and Ms. Gálvez “coordinators” of each coalition instead of “candidates.”
“These irregular activities have occurred under the gaze of public opinion, the political class and the electoral authorities,” Ms. Freidenberg said. “This is not a minor issue.”
Next year’s general election, in which voters will elect not only a president but members of Congress, might also determine whether Mexico may return to a dominant-party system — similar to what the country experienced under the once-hegemonic Institutional Revolutionary Party, which held uninterrupted power for 71 years until 2000.
Despite some setbacks, there are signs this is already happening. In June, Morena’s candidate won the governor’s race in the State of Mexico, the country’s most populous state, defeating the Institutional Revolutionary Party’s candidate.