Mexico elections: claims of dirty tricks cast shadow over Peña Nieto’s victory Campaign group says 28% of voters it interviewed were exposed to vote-buying or coercion

Mexico election protest

A protest in Mexico City against alleged voting irregularities in the country’s presidential election. Photograph: Eduardo Verdugo/AP

Growing allegations of systematic vote-buying and other irregularities are casting a shadow over Enrique Peña Nieto‘s still unconfirmed victory inMexico‘s presidential election.

The preliminary count from Sunday’s poll gave Peña Nieto of the Institutional Revolutionary Party, or PRI, about 38% of the vote and a six-percentage-point lead over Andrés Manuel López Obrador of the leftwing Party of the Democratic Revolution, or PRD, who is contesting the result.

The most notorious pre-election allegation was that the PRI distributed huge numbers of cards for pre-paid purchases at the Soriana supermarket chain in return for votes. This appeared to be confirmed this week when shoppers rushed to use the cards, worth between 100 and 700 pesos (£5 to £35). Soriana has denied any wrongdoing.

Other alleged irregularities include the PRI’s use of children to accompany voters into polling booths to check how they mark their ballots, reported by the Mexican organisation Civic Alliance. The group issued a report saying 28% of those interviewed by its 500 observers across the country had been exposed to some form of vote-buying or coercion. Gift-giving during electoral campaigns is permitted but making it conditional on votes is illegal.

The PRI party machinery has long been famous for using handouts and intimidation to push the limits of the law, particularly in poor communities. Other political parties are also regularly accused of doing the same in their own bastions, though on a smaller scale.

This election, however, has exposed these practices as never before thanks to the explosion of mobile phone ownership and social media, as well as the activism of the new anti-PRI student movement that erupted in May.

YouTube, Twitter and Facebook have been abuzz with videos and accounts of alleged dirty tricks, such as women apparently collecting bags of handouts under cover of night before the election.

In another video two people from the state of Puebla say they were bussed to the state of Veracruz to vote for the PRI, supporting charges of a party operation to use up the limited number of ballots available at polling stations where vagrant voting is permitted.

Another video shows people who say they were hired to supervise polling stations for the PRI protesting about not being paid yet.

Although such charges may damage Peña Nieto’s claim to represent a “new generation” of PRI politicians, few observers expect the upcoming legal challenges to prosper given the 3 million vote margin of his victory, and the high standard of proof required by the electoral courts.

Meanwhile, the PRI insists the election was fair. “Enrique Peña Nieto will be a legal and legitimate president,” his campaign manager Luis Videgaray told MVS Radio on Wednesday. He nevertheless added: “Of course our democracy is perfectible.”


About ottwf

The capitalistic and imperialistic system and its systematic aims: profit and power over others, still dominates our world and not the aims of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, as 1948 agreed! After the world-economic-crisis after 1929 and the following World-War the world hat decided with agreeing the Universal Declaration of Human rights, to create a new world order; conflicts should be solved with peaceful means, not nations and their power, but the dignity of human beings around the world should be the aim of the policies and the economy, of every state and the community of states. But soon after the end of the war, when the victims and destruction were forgotten, all continued as before, with all risks, we had seen before. The split in rich an poor is getting bigger and bigger. We also overuse our global environment already, even if the big majority of mankind still lives in poverty! We are not victims, this world is men-made and be changed from men and women! It will be possible, if those, who do not want or serve (because of system-pressure) profits first, but want for themselves and everybody a life in human dignity unite and develop in a global base-democratic movement a common vision for our world, and learn, how to make this vision real. We need for it a big empowerment of many, many common men and women and their activities. Our chances are because of new communication technologies, of common languages, of the level of education and the mixture of people from different backgrounds better then ever. The occupy-movement is a good start for such a global movement. We support it and try to contribute to its success! We choose news and make comments and so try to unite people for an Occupy-Think-Tank: Its tasks: creating a news-network, self-education, working on global-reform programs and learning to organize projects for those, who are suffering. Join us, so that we can build teams for these aims for all subjects and countries as a base for the unification. We have Wan(n)Fried(en) in our name, because it means When peace and it is a modification of the name of the town our base is, in Wanfried, a small town in the middle of Germany, where we can use a former factory for our activities. Our telefon: 0049-5655-924981, mobil: 0171-9132149, email:
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