(Bloomberg) -- Mexico’s Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard will leave his post June 12 as ruling party Morena begins to prepare for the 2024 presidential election, in which he is looking to be the party’s candidate.

Ebrard will resign from the ministry to support Morena’s electoral process, he said, stopping short of declaring that he would run for president. He has previously said he’s confident he could win a nomination to represent Morena’s political project, known as the “fourth transformation.” 

“I’m excited to participate in the great Morena movement,” he told reporters at an event in Mexico City. “I’m proud to be part of the fourth transformation and to act according to what we have previously proposed.”

The decision comes just two days after President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador’s party clinched the governorship in one of the last bastions of opposition power, Mexico State, boosting the party before general elections to be held next June. 

Local newspaper Milenio reported earlier that AMLO had called for aspiring presidential candidates to exit their current roles between June 16 and 19 to be considered in the party’s candidate selection process. 

Read More: Ebrard Confident of Clinching Mexico Presidential Nomination

Other likely contenders to the party’s nomination include Mexico City Mayor Claudia Sheinbaum and Interior Minister Adan Augusto Lopez. A May poll of Morena voters by El Financiero showed Sheinbaum ahead by one percentage point compared to Ebrard, marking a statistical tie. Among nationwide voters of different parties, the poll showed Sheinbaum leading by 8 percentage points.

The party nominee will officially be picked through multiple rounds of Morena surveys that seek to determine party members’ preference. Lopez Obrador’s opinion is also expected to be part of the final decision. 

--With assistance from Alex Vasquez.

(Updates with polling data in sixth paragraph)

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