Leftist seeks to void Mexico's presidential election, again
By Miguel Gutierrez
MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - The runner-up in Mexico's presidential election will ask the electoral tribunal to void the results, arguing that the winner violated campaign finance laws to buy votes, his lawyers said on Thursday.
Left-wing candidate Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador came in 3.3 million votes behind Enrique Pena Nieto from the centrist Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI), according to the official count from the July 1 vote.
But the former mayor of Mexico City, who also lost the 2006 presidential race by a narrower margin, says the campaign was rigged, with major media outlets skewing coverage to promote the telegenic Pena Nieto at the expense of the other parties.
"In our opinion, with all of the violations that we have seen, it is impossible to describe these elections as free and fair," said Ricardo Mejia, the spokesman for Lopez Obrador's legal team preparing the challenge.
The lawyers will claim before the electoral tribunal, known as the TRIFE, that Pena Nieto violated the constitutional protections for free elections, Mejia said.
The TRIFE has until September 6 to consider all claims and officially declare a President-elect.
In 2006, Lopez Obrador also refused to accept his loss to President Felipe Calderon by less than 1 percentage point. Markets were rattled when his supporters staged weeks of disruptive protests, occupying the capital's main boulevard.
This time markets have largely shrugged off the possibility of a drawn-out conflict and Pena Nieto is already naming advisers to work on his government's transition. Continued...