Mexico elections: Tens of thousands protest results


Officials count votes in Guadalajara, Mexico on July 1, 2012.

Thousands of demonstrators took to the streets of Mexico City on Saturday to protest Enrique Peña Nieto’s victory in Mexico’s presidential election, Reuters reported.

Mexico City officials estimated that the crowd marching through the Zocalo Plaza swelled to 50,000, the Associated Press reported.

A vote recount showed that Peña Nieto of the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) won the July 1 election by almost 7 percentage points, according to Reuters. The result returns the PRI, which ruled Mexico from 1929 to 2000, to power after 12 years.

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Protesters, a group that included students, leftists, anarchists and union members, charged that the PRI bought votes to win the most recent election, Reuters reported.

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"The PRI threatens many people and buys others with a couple of tacos," protester Manuel Ocegueda, a 43-year-old shop worker, told Reuters.

Hoping to attract the attention of the international media, protesters carried signs in Spanish, English, Japanese, French and German with messages like, "Pena, how much did it cost to become president?" and "Mexico, you pawned your future for 500 pesos," the AP reported.

According to the AP:

Simply giving away such gifts is not illegal under Mexican electoral law, as long as the expense is reported to electoral authorities. Giving gifts to influence votes is a crime, though is not generally viewed as grounds for overturning an election.

The PRI denies that it bought votes, the AP reported.

Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, the Democratic Revolution Party candidate who came in second, has said he will file a formal legal challenge to the vote count in electoral courts, the AP reported.

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