Josefina Vázquez Mota has been chosen by the centre-right National Action Party (PAN) as its candidate in the Mexican presidential election to be held in July.
A former education minister, she has a background in business and the economy, and won the PAN nomination after a ballot of members in which she emerged the clear winner.
Her party has been in government for two terms, and is currently unpopular. A decade of sluggish economic growth has left Mexicans disenchanted with what had looked, in 2000, like a new start, and five years of violent drug wars have led to radipdly decreasing confidence in the current president, Felipe Calderón.
In 2000 PAN replaced the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI), which had governed for more than 70 years. However, recent polls put the PRI candidate, Enrique Peña Nieto, ahead on 41%, with Vazquez Mota trailing on 23% followed by Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, the leftist coalition candidate, on 18%.
Josefina Vázquez Mota is regarded in some quarters as a compromise candidate for her party, with none of the contenders coming anywhere near the popularity of Peña Nieto.
The Mexican presidential election will take place on 1 July 2012.