Mexico's ruling party was set on Wednesday to announce the winner of its primary to select a candidate for next year's presidential election, with opinion polls making Jewish former Mexico City Mayor Claudia Sheinbaum a strong favorite.
The selection of the 61-year-old Sheinbaum, a staunch ally of leftist President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, would likely set the scene for Mexico to choose its first woman president.
The incumbent president's National Regeneration Movement (MORENA) is due around 5 p.m. (2300 GMT) to reveal the results of nationwide voter surveys to determine who should represent the party in the June 2, 2024, election to succeed Lopez Obrador.
Two polls on Tuesday gave Sheinbaum a double-digit lead over her main rival for the MORENA candidacy, former foreign minister Marcelo Ebrard. He has raised concerns about how the party has set about choosing the winner.
Sheinbaum's competition in the election
The main opposition alliance last week selected as its presidential candidate Xochitl Galvez, a charismatic and unconventional senator of Indigenous origin who overcame an impoverished background to become a successful entrepreneur.
Lopez Obrador, 69, has dominated politics like few other Mexican leaders since taking office in late 2018. Under Mexican law, presidents may only serve a single six-year term.
A resource nationalist, he has put the state at the center of the economy, prioritizing public companies over foreign investors, greatly expanding the army's responsibilities and increasing social welfare spending to curb rampant inequality.
Sheinbaum, a noted physicist and environmentalist before her entry into frontline politics, has vowed to consolidate his legacy, aligning herself with his political base and the bedrock of support that underpins his approval ratings of around 60%.
Viewed as more of a consensus-builder than the combative Lopez Obrador, Sheinbaum has indicated she would ramp up renewable energy usage, which has taken a back seat to the president's efforts to revive state oil company Pemex.