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Mexico's Elections on the Horizon: A Report on the Border

Mexican voters in Baja California are preparing for the June 2024 elections, where they will choose a new president, replace the chamber of deputies and senate, and select local and state leaders. A nonpartisan group called Consejo Ciudadano Independiente is aiming to offer voters more choices by identifying potential candidates that could win the support of opposition parties and independent voters. The group is creating a digital platform to vet applicants and pass on their information to opposition parties. Baja California has seen a decrease in voter turnout, and the Consejo members hope to make a difference by addressing the neglect in governance.

The upcoming June 2024 election in Mexico is generating a lot of buzz in Baja California. Not only will voters choose a new president, but they will also replace the chamber of deputies and senate. Additionally, local and state leaders will be elected, including mayors for the state's seven new municipalities. The need for greater citizen participation in the elections is a hot topic among a nonpartisan group called Consejo Ciudadano Independiente (Independent Citizens Council).

Consejo aims to offer voters more choices and identify potential candidates who can win the support of opposition parties and independent voters. Flavio Olivieri, a founding member of Consejo and a university professor, believes that Tijuana needs new contenders. Traditionally, outside candidates had little chance of being considered by political parties, but that is changing. The opposition parties have expressed their willingness to consider candidates from the community.

To facilitate this process, Consejo is creating a digital platform open to any Mexican citizen in Baja California interested in holding elected office. The group will vet the applicants' qualifications and pass on the information to the opposition parties. This initiative is crucial in addressing the decreasing voter turnout in Baja California. Previously, the state had high voter turnouts, but in the 2021 elections, only 38 percent of voters cast their ballots, the lowest in Mexico.

Marco Antonio Franco, a Tijuana architect and the coordinator of Consejo, believes that neglect in governance and the trampling of institutions have contributed to the decline in voter turnout. The political parties have been offering candidates who have not delivered strong performances. While the once-dominant PRI and PAN parties have diminished, MORENA remains the dominant party nationally and at the California border. However, unity within MORENA has been elusive, and pressing issues such as violence, water shortages, and public transportation remain unresolved.

Various presidential contenders have been making appearances in Baja California, both aligned with MORENA and from opposition parties. Former Mexico City Mayor Claudia Scheinbaum, former Mexican interior minister Adan August Lopez, and former foreign secretary Marcelo Ebrard, all potential candidates from MORENA, have made public appearances in Tijuana. On the opposition front, Santiago Creel, a member of PAN, and Xochitl Galvez, a PAN Senator of indigenous descent, have also been meeting with constituents.

Galvez's unexpected rise in popularity has brought fresh energy to the opposition. Polls show her ahead of Creel and other opposition candidates. If her popularity continues to grow, Galvez could make an appearance in Tijuana next month. The Frente Amplio Por Mexico, a coalition of opposition political parties and citizens groups, has scheduled a forum in Tijuana to showcase the top three opposition contenders.

In conclusion, the June 2024 election season in Mexico is generating excitement in Baja California. The focus is not only on choosing a new president but also on selecting local and state leaders. Consejo Ciudadano Independiente is working to increase citizen participation and offer more choices to voters. The declining voter turnout in Baja California is a concern, and the neglect in governance has contributed to this issue. Presidential contenders from both MORENA and opposition parties have been making appearances in Baja California, and Xochitl Galvez's unexpected popularity has brought new energy to the opposition. The upcoming forum in Tijuana will provide an opportunity for voters to learn more about the top contenders.

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