Enrique Pena Nieto, presidential candidate of the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) greets supporters after exit polls showed him in first place, in Mexico City July 1, 2012. (EDGARD GARRIDO/REUTERS)
Posted: July 4th,2012
Mexico’s national election authority Wednesday announced a recount of ballots cast at more than half of the polling stations in the country’s weekend presidential election in which Enrique Pena Nieto claimed victory.
Edmundo Jacobo, a top official with the (IFE), made the announcement a day after leftist candidate Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, who came in second in the vote, demanded a full vote recount, claiming that the results were “fraudulent.”
Mr. Lopez Obrador, who heads a leftist coalition led by the Party of the Democratic Revolution (PRD), accused Mr. Pena Nieto’s Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) of orchestrating a massive scheme to influence the vote that included distributing 1.8-million gift cards.
The first official results from Sunday’s vote showed Mr. Lopez Obrador with 31 per cent of the vote against 38 per cent for Mr. Pena Nieto. IFE officials have until Sunday to deliver the final official vote count, but it may come sooner.
“There is no president-elect,” said Mr. Lopez Obrador’s campaign coordinator Ricardo Monreal, said Wednesday. “There is no candidate that has been elected, and whoever tries to use that title is an impostor.”
Observers fear Mr. Lopez Obrador’s refusal to concede could trigger a repeat of the 2006 presidential election, when he lost by less than one percent, claimed fraud and organized mass protests that paralyzed Mexico City for more than a month.
Voters in Sunday’s presidential and legislative elections allegedly showed PRI officials a cell phone picture of their paper ballot to “prove” they voted for the PRI, and received gift cards in return.
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