Mexico City, Jun 12 (EFE).- Former Mexican Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard on Monday formally announced that he had presented his resignation to President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador so that he may mount a campaign to become the 2024 presidential candidate of the president’s National Regeneration Movement (Morena) party.
At a press conference in Mexico City’s historic center, Ebrard announced that he had just delivered his resignation letter to Lopez Obrador making his decision to step down official and saying that he intended to continue with the president’s political program, known as the Fourth Transformation (4T), to do away with privileged abuses that had plagued Mexico in the past.
“As you are aware,” Ebrard wrote to Lopez Obrador, “on June 6 I made public my decision to resign as head of the Foreign Relations Secretariat … with the aim of participating in Morena’s process to select the person who will be the candidate of the Fourth Transformation.”
Starting Monday, in kicking off his campaign for the Morena presidential nod, Ebrard promised to “defend 4T and work for its permanence and consolidation in the years to come.”
He went on, in his resignation letter, to provide an overview of what he considered to be his main achievements as Mexico’s top diplomat over the past five “marvelous” years, including helping Mexico acquire “prestige and capability for its own actions” on the international stage, good relations with the United States, protecting Mexicans living abroad and ensuring that Mexico acquired enough vaccine to inoculate the public against the coronavirus.
He also said at the press conference that at their meeting in the National Palace Lopez Obrador had expressed “great affection” for him and wished him success.
Although Ebrard is trailing Mexico City Mayor Claudia Sheinbaum in the voter surveys in terms of support for becoming Moreno’s presidential candidate, he said he was confident about his prospects, adding that he has “no Plan B, the plan is to win” but declaring that he would certainly invite Sheinbaum to serve as Mexico’s secretary of the interior – traditionally seen as a stepping stone to the Mexican presidency.
Meanwhile, on Monday Sheinbaum announced that she will step down from her post this coming Friday to be able to run for president in the 2024 election as Morena’s presidential candidate.
“Today, I want to announce that I’ve made the decision to definitively distance myself from (this) office on June 16 … with the aim of becoming the first woman in the history of Mexico to lead … the nation,” Sheinbaum, widely viewed as the favorite in the 2024 vote, said in a message to the media.
The announcement came after Morena, which was founded by Lopez Obrador, announced on Sunday that on Sept. 6 it will reveal who will be the party’s presidential candidate after voter opinion surveys are conducted between Aug. 28 and Sept. 3.
Sheinbaum said that although at first she had said that she would not resign the mayorship, after the party changed its rules governing presidential candidacies she decided to resign.
She said that she considers herself to be the “only person” in the upcoming Morena survey who comes from a scientific career and that she has participated in the fight for the rights of the Mexican people, “democracy, liberties, social and environmental justice and the rights of women since I was just 15 years old.”
She said that her way of governing the nation’s capital had resulted in her being No. 1 in the voter opinion surveys and that she was “sure that it will remain that way,” noting that the National Statistics and Geography Institute (INEGI) had found that 67.5 percent of Mexicans “are very ready” to have a female president.
Next Monday, each of the four Morena presidential hopefuls – Sheinbaum, Ebrard, Interior Secretary Adan Augusto Lopez and the party’s leader in the Senate, Ricardo Monreal – will begin campaign tours.