Mexico president’s former finance minister backs opposition rival

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Mexico's Finance, Foreign ministers speak at Council of the Americas event

Mexico’s Finance Minister Carlos Urzua takes part at the Americas Society and Council of the Americas event in Mexico City, Mexico May 22, 2019. REUTERS/Carlos Jasso/File Photo Acquire Licensing Rights

MEXICO CITY, Oct 24 (Reuters) – Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador’s former finance minister is backing the main opposition alliance in next year’s presidential election, the opposition’s candidate said on Tuesday.

Opposition presidential contender Xochitl Galvez said on X, formerly Twitter, that ex-minister Carlos Urzua had joined her right-left alliance bidding to unseat Lopez Obrador’s National Regeneration Movement (MORENA) in the June 2024 election.

“Welcome to this team,” Galvez wrote on X, sharing a picture of herself and Urzua, who was finance minister from 2018 to 2019 at the start of Lopez Obrador’s presidency. Urzua quit in frustration at the direction of policy and has become a noted critic of the government.

Urzua was not immediately reachable for comment.

A respected economist, Urzua from 2000 to 2003 was Lopez Obrador’s top finance official when he was Mexico City mayor.

Many economists have argued Lopez Obrador has hurt investor confidence by becoming embroiled in disputes with Mexico’s top trade partners.

However, he remains a popular president, and MORENA’s candidate to succeed him, former Mexico City Mayor Claudia Sheinbaum, has a commanding lead over Galvez in opinion polls.

Mexican presidents may only serve a single six-year term.

Galvez heads the main opposition alliance comprising three parties ranging from the center-right to the center-left.

Another opposition party, the center-left Citizens’ Movement (MC), is eyeing a separate bid that could split the vote.

Reporting by Stefanie Eschenbacher; Editing by Dave Graham and Cynthia Osterman

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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