Xochitl Galvez

Mexican businesswoman and opposition senator Xochitl Galvez, 60, threw her hat in the ring for the presidency Tuesday, setting up a two-woman race with ex-mayor Claudia Sheinbaum of the ruling party.

Galvez, who is of Indigenous roots, officially registered her candidacy with the INE electoral commission, the entity said.

She represents an opposition coalition made up of the Institutional Revolutionary Party -- which ruled the country for more than 70 years until 2000 -- the conservative National Action Party and the leftist Party of the Democratic Revolution.

Born to an Indigenous Otomi father and mixed-race mother, Galvez's first name means "flower" in the Nahuatl Indigenous language, and her background sets her apart from the traditional conservative opposition.

She wears Indigenous clothing, uses colloquial language peppered with swear words and is known for traveling around Mexico City by bicycle.

Galvez, a trained computer engineer, has criticized incumbent President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador's security strategy and has vowed to end what she describes as a "tolerance" of drug cartels.

She has said she would seek to encourage foreign investment, end fossil fuel exploitation and reduce the role of the armed forces that expanded significantly under Lopez Obrador.

Galvez's main rival Sheinbaum, 61, registered her own candidacy on Sunday.

Sheinbaum is a member of Lopez Obrador's ruling Morena party and the favorite, according to polls, to win the June 2 vote.

Sheinbaum, a scientist by training, is a staunch supporter and confidante of Lopez Obrador, a leftwing populist who enjoys an approval rating of more than 60 percent but is required by the constitution to leave office after a single six-year term.

She was a spokesperson for Lopez Obrador during his failed 2006 election bid, and served as Mexico City mayor from 2018 until earlier this year when she stepped down to run for president.

One of the two will in all likelihood become the first woman president of Mexico, a country with a long tradition of machismo.

The election campaign opens on March 1.