Carin Zissis on CNN


Carin Zissis on CNN International: Campaigning for Mexico's June Elections Begins

By Kim Brunhuber

"The next president will be looking for the U.S. government to do its part," says AS/COA Online's editor-in-chief to Kim Brunhuber.

AS/COA Online Editor-in-Chief Carin Zissis spoke with Kim Brunhuber of CNN International about the upcoming presidential election in Mexico. Zissis, an expert in Mexican politics, was interviewed about the two major presidential candidates, Xóchitl Gálvez and Claudia Sheinbaum, and what either of their victories could mean for U.S.-Mexico bilateral cooperation.

There is also great expectation surrounding this election as Mexico will most probably elect its first female president, Zissis said.

"It is extraordinary and there's a lot of excitement around the fact that there are two candidates who are women leading. Now, Mexico does have certain parity laws in place that have meant that Mexico has become a leader in terms of women's representation in politics. So, you have gender parity in Congress. You have a woman as the head of the Central Bank, head of both houses of Congress. So, we are seeing very broad representation by women, but this would be the first time that we would have a woman president in Mexico," Zissis said.

The expert noted that Gálvez and Sheinbaum share some "interesting similarities", including their age, their educational backgrounds and their time in politics. However, there are major differences between them as well, she said.

"Claudia Sheinbaum is seen as the successor for Andrés Manuel López Obrador, who is a very popular and populist president in place, and she's promised to continue with his policies. Some of that includes ideas like reforming the judiciary, reforming the electoral agency. And on the other side, Xóchitl Gálvez has warned that some of those types of moves actually will weaken Mexico's democracy, weaken its institutions."

Brunhuber asked Zissis what will this election mean for U.S.-Mexico relations.

"Generally, there's been a lot of bilateral cooperation. We'll see that [the candidates will] try to continue with that," she said. "Violence and crime are the top concerns for voters in the election. The next president will be looking for the U.S. government to do its part also in stemming the flow of guns into Mexico, which arm those organized crime groups."

Watch the full interview.