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Head of Government of the Federal District
The Head of Government (Spanish: Jefe de Gobierno) wields executive power in the Mexican Federal District (the federal district, or D.F., is the seat of national executive, legislative, and judicial power, and is largely contiguous with the core of the sprawling Mexico City conurbation). The Head of Government serves a six-year term, running concurrently with that of the President of the Republic.
According to Article 122 of the Mexican Constitution, "the Head of Government of the Federal District shall be responsible for executive power and public administration in the district and shall be represented by a single individual, elected by universal, free, direct, and secret suffrage."
The title is commonly rendered in English as "Mayor of Mexico City" or (less frequently) as "Governor of the Federal District", but in reality the position does not correspond exactly to either the mayor of a municipality (presidente municipal) or the governor of a state (gobernador) as they are understood in Mexican law.
For the greater part of the 20th century, the D.F. was administered directly by the President of the Republic, who delegated his authority to an appointed Head of the Federal District Department, known more commonly (and tersely) as the Regente ("Regent" in English). This non-democratic imposition was a source of constant and often bitter resentment among the inhabitants of Mexico City. Under the reforms of the Mexican state introduced by presidents Carlos Salinas and Ernesto Zedillo, the Regent was replaced by the first directly elected Head of Government in 1997.
On 6 July 1997, with a 47.7% share of the vote in an eight-horse race, Cuauhtémoc Cárdenas won the first direct Head of Government election (this first term was to last only three years, to bring the office into line with the presidential succession). Cárdenas, a former presidential candidate who was, according to many, cheated out of victory in the closely fought 1988 presidential election, later resigned to compete in the 2000 presidential campaign and left in his place Rosario Robles, who served out the remainder of his term as the first woman to govern Mexico City.
The Head of Government elected for the current term, 2000 to 2006, was Andrés Manuel López Obrador, elected with 39% of the popular vote in the same election that saw Vicente Fox of the PAN win the presidency. López Obrador was removed from office by the federal Congress on 7 April 2005 (see explanation on his article) and was replaced, on an interim basis, by his secretary of government, Alejandro Encinas .
All the Heads of Government to date have come from the ranks of the left-of-centre Party of the Democratic Revolution (PRD); all the Heads of the Federal District Department were members of the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI).
Incumbents as Head of Government of the Federal District
- Cuauhtémoc Cárdenas Solórzano 1997-1999, PRD; resigned to pursue the presidency.
- Rosario Robles Berlanga, 1999-2000 (interim; unelected), PRD.
- Andrés Manuel López Obrador, 2000 to 7 April 2005, PRD, removed from office after his executive immunity was lifted by Congress.
- Alejandro Encinas Rodríguez 8 April 2005 to date (interim).
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