Mexico vote recount confirms Enrique Peña Nieto election win


President-elect Enrique Peña Nieto speaks during a press conference on July 2, 2012 in Mexico City.


Daniel Aguilar

A recount of more than half of the votes cast in the Mexican presidential election last Sunday has confirmed that Enrique Peña Nieto won by a comfortable margin.

The Federal Electoral Institute said late Thursday that more than 99 percent of the ballot boxes had been counted and more than half double-checked following accusations of fraud, Al Jazeera reported.

Pena Nieto of the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) — the party that ruled Mexico for most of the 20th century — won 38 percent of the vote while left-winger Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador secured more than 31 percent, McClatchy Newspapers reported.

The president-elect led by more than 3.3 million votes.

The Associated Press reported that Lopez Obrador, who had demanded a vote recount after accusing the PRI of vote buying, is expected to mount a legal challenge despite the official recount.

The silver-haired candidate for the Party of the Democratic Revolution lost the 2006 election by a razor-thin margin and accused the winning National Action Party (PAN) of fraud. In media interviews, Pena Nieto has suggested Lopez Obrador is suffering from a bad case of sour grapes.

Accusations that the PRI engaged in vote-buying activities gathered pace in the days after Sunday’s election after the Associated Press interviewed shoppers at grocery stores on the outskirts of Mexico City who claimed they had been given pre-paid gift cards by the PRI.

McClatchy said the elections watchdog was expected to formally announce the official winner this weekend.

More from GlobalPost: Mexico 2012 elections coverage