News Update :

Peña Nieto of Mexico wins the presidential election

Saturday, July 7, 2012

MEXICO CITY: Enrique Peña Nieto decisively won Mexico's presidential election, the election office said on Friday, issuing the final voting results after a demand for a recount of his nearest rival.

Leftist candidate Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, who had challenged the provisional count, won 31.59 percent of the vote, against 38.21 percent for Peña Nieto, the Institutional Revolutionary Party, or PRI, according to final results in the website independent Federal Electoral Institute.

IFE also gave Josefina Vazquez Mota, to govern the outgoing president, Felipe Calderon of the National Action Party, or PAN, 25.41 percent of the vote.

The results were announced after a vote by vote thorough recount of the results to a little over half the country's polling stations 143.144 which lasted longer than expected. It all started Wednesday and ended early Friday, a day late.

IFE executive director Benito Nacif told Formato 21 radio that the delay was due to "a large number of open tickets", and in some cases, lengthy discussions among election officials about some of the votes in doubt.

Lopez Obrador, who stated categorically that a massive vote-buying scheme had been used, had demanded a full recount.

The Democratic Revolution Party (PRD) held a press conference Thursday afternoon by reiterating his claim that the PRI tried to "buy" votes by distributing 1.8 million gift cards worth "billions of pesos ".

He did, however, call for mass protests in the same way as it did in 2006, when he lost by less than one percent, said fraud and demonstrations that paralyzed Mexico City for over a month.

The young Peña Nieto, 45, a former governor of the populous state of Mexico, is married to the glamorous soap star Angelica Rivera and benefited from family connections with the powerful old guard of the PRI political as well as a smart the carefully orchestrated media appearances.

"All this is documented," Lopez Obrador said, adding that his leftist coalition filed complaints with election officials in early February. He noted that "millions of votes bought."

Peña Nieto of the PRI was synonymous with the Mexican state, and who ruled for seven decades until 2000 with a mixture of patronage, repression, rigged elections and bribery.

An anti-PRI "mega-march" has been announced for Saturday in Mexico City through online forums and leaflets delivered in the street, but it was unclear who is organizing it.

PAN also filed a complaint about alleged PRI cards of cash from the bank before the vote. The PRI, in turn filed complaints against two rivals who claim gifts to voters.

Vazquez Mota, the candidate of the ruling party, on Thursday, told reporters that campaign spending should be examined "very closely" - a glancing blow to the PRI. "We can not allow the illegal use of resources to go unpunished," he said.

Peña Nieto, who declared victory on Sunday, inherits a country ravaged by a brutal drug war and the economy of a struggle to create jobs.

Of course Mexico's next president moved quickly to try to dispel fears that the corrupt practices of the PRI's authoritarian turn could make a comeback.

"We are a new generation. We are not going to last. My government is looking to the future," he told foreign journalists on Monday.

World leaders including U.S. President Barack Obama and Peña Nieto commended for his apparent victory.

- AFP / of
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