Claudia Sheinbaum’s Government Will Seek Consensus in Congress, Ally Says

(Bloomberg) -- President-elect Claudia Sheinbaum will foster discussions on a series of constitutional reforms that have alarmed investors and business leaders in Mexico, according to a top adviser.

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“High-level discussions” to be held in the coming months will help allay concerns, said Altagracia Gomez, a business adviser to Sheinbaum and the president of Grupo Promotora Empresarial de Occidente, a conglomerate of companies spanning transportation, energy transmission, and food products.

The Mexican peso had its worst week in four years as investors worry that the ruling coalition’s stronger-than-expected performance in congressional elections will leave it very close to the votes needed to approve constitutional changes proposed by outgoing President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, including a controversial judiciary reform and another eliminating independent regulatory bodies.

“It’s not a time to fast-track things, but it is a time to present priorities and discuss them,” Gomez said in an interview Thursday. “I do believe that Claudia has sent a message that she’s very open to dialogue, that she won’t betray her convictions, but that she’s very open and willing to dialogue.”

The outgoing president known as AMLO fanned the flames this week by plowing on with a discussion of the judiciary, describing it as a body that catered to special interests and was in dire need of improvement. Sheinbaum’s team then took steps to restore calm. A congressional lawmaker on Thursday evening said Morena would be “prudent” about taking advantage of the coalition’s strong lead in Congress after earlier suggesting it should move faster. Sheinbaum reiterated in brief comments to the press that day that the process of the reforms would follow normal procedures and involve “dialogue.”

Leaders of Lopez Obrador’s Morena party have so far struggled to deliver a message to calm investors concerned with the possibility of a one-party rule in Mexico. Earlier this week, Finance Minister Rogelio Ramirez de la O held a glitchy conference call that investors criticized as short on specifics.

Gomez stressed that, while uncertainty is leading to market swings, investors would soon get answers.

Business leaders “want to know what’s going to happen, which is what the market is reflecting,” she said. “It’s not that they’re scared, it’s that they don’t know. But we’ll know soon enough. What’s been said is that there’s going to be dialogue. We’re going to look for consensus.”

Polls had widely predicted Sheinbaum’s win by a wide margin in the June 2 election, but few anticipated the possibility of the ruling party reaching or coming very close to a supermajority in congress.

Cabinet Parity

Sheinbaum’s cabinet will be made up of experts and will have equal representation of women and men, said Gomez, declining to give details on any upcoming nominations other than to say that she believes the group will “exceed expectations.”

“There’s going to be 50% women in the cabinet, that’s a commitment,” she said, adding that Sheinbaum wants to modify the constitution to make that a law. “She wants to make a constitutional commitment that all cabinets be fifty-fifty.”

Gomez has been a business adviser to Sheinbaum over the course of the campaign, and accompanied her in gatherings with business leaders across the country. On Thursday, she participated in a meeting with the president-elect and BlackRock’s Mexico head, according to a post shared on X.

Gomez said Sheinbaum has more meetings planned with major local and foreign business leaders. She expects the president-elect to travel within the country and perhaps abroad before formally taking over as president.

As an adviser to Sheinbaum, Gomez has specialized in nearshoring and regional development. Her team has been mapping data showing access to transport, energy, water and infrastructure with local living conditions including availability of hospitals and schools to help guide companies figure out the optimal location to set up shop or expand in the country.

“In a way, this organizes public investment and orients private investment,” she said.

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