Mexican presidential race loser says winner ‘bought’ millions of votes
The runner-up in Mexico’s presidential race has gone to the country’s electoral court in an effort to have the result declared void, claiming the winner broke campaign finance laws and bought millions of votes.
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 1 July vote.
But Mr Lopez Obrador – a former mayor of Mexico City, who lost the 2006 presidential race by a narrow margin – claims the campaign was rigged, with major media outlets skewing coverage to promote the telegenic Mr Pena Nieto at the expense of the other parties.
Mr Lopez Obrador said he had proof Mr Pena Nieto enlisted help from local governors to buy around five million votes by doling out pre-paid gift cards, cash, food, building materials and fertiliser to lure poor voters.
“The massive vote-buying operation was carried out before and on the day of the election,” Mr Lopez Obrador told a news conference, adding he would next week unveil a “national plan for the defence of democracy and the dignity of Mexico”.
In 2006, Mr Lopez Obrador refused to accept his loss to President Felipe Calderon by less than one percentage point.
His lawyers filed the complaint with election officials on Thursday evening, delivering dozens of boxes filled with documents, videos, photos as well as items allegedly given away by the PRI campaign.
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