Skip to main content

Vote-buying allegations persist after Mexican election

By the CNN Wire Staff
updated 1:40 PM EDT, Mon July 9, 2012
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • "We cannot accept these results," Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador says
  • He says he plans to file a formal complaint before a tribunal on Thursday
  • Election authorities have said he was the runner-up in last week's vote
  • An electoral tribunal has until September 6 to investigate allegations

Mexico City (CNN) -- More than a week after Mexico's presidential election, the candidate who authorities describe as the runner-up said a partial recount was not enough to erase his doubts about the vote.

"We cannot accept these results," Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador told reporters Monday, vowing to file a formal complaint before a tribunal on Thursday, the legal deadline for challenging the election results.

Lopez Obrador asserted that presumptive president-elect Enrique Peña Nieto and his party bought millions of votes in the election -- an accusation party officials have denied.

"I am president by the majority decision of the Mexicans," Peña Nieto told CNN last week, noting that numerous world leaders, including U.S. President Barack Obama, had called to congratulate him on his win.

Mexico avoids economic woes

Peña Nieto to CNN: 'New debate' on drug war

An official tally of returns released after a partial recount by Mexico's Federal Election Institute last week confirmed that Peña Nieto of the Institutional Revolutionary Party, or PRI, received 38.21% of votes. Lopez Obrador, of the Democratic Revolution Party, garnered 31.59% of votes, election officials said.

The results remain unofficial until the country's electoral tribunal ratifies them.

The tribunal will have until September 6 to complete its investigation and ratify -- or reverse -- the official election results. The new president will be sworn in December 1.

Lopez Obrador has criticized the election and refused to concede repeatedly over the past week, echoing comments he made in 2006 when election authorities said the leftist candidate narrowly lost the presidential vote to Felipe Calderon.

After that election, the former Mexico City mayor claimed election fraud and never conceded, referring to himself as "the legitimate president of Mexico." Lopez Obrador's supporters protested nationwide. In Mexico City, they organized sit-ins and blockades.

Officials have called this year's election the most transparent in Mexico's history. It was the first election in which scanned copies of district-by-district election returns were posted on the Internet.

But accusations have arisen of electoral manipulation by the PRI.

Photos: Tensions follow Mexico election

Opponents of the PRI said they have video and photo evidence of the party buying votes through thousands of cards that could be redeemed for products at a chain of supermarkets.

An anti-Peña Nieto youth movement said it received 1,100 complaints of irregularities. And the group Civic Alliance said 30% of voters it surveyed reported witnessing at least one type of irregularity.

Mexican election regulators said they are investigating the allegations related to the gift cards.

PRI spokesman Eduardo Sanchez has called the claims "a farce," and accused political opponents of staging the videos and photographs purported to show vote-buying.

CNNMexico.com's Tania L. Montalvo contributed to this report.

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
Mexico elections
Presumptive president-elect Enrique Peña Nieto talks to Fareed Zakaria about the drug war, immigration and the economy.
updated 5:34 AM EDT, Tue July 3, 2012
The party that ruled Mexico for more than 70 years appears poised to return to power after election authorities projected Enrique Peña Nieto as the winner of the nation's presidential vote.
updated 8:19 PM EDT, Mon July 2, 2012
Enrique Peña Nieto, the man election authorities project will be Mexico's next president, was governor, husband to TV star and a party's next hope.
updated 2:40 PM EDT, Mon July 2, 2012
Mexico's election results raise issues rooted in the country's complicated political past that will play a critical role in shaping the nation's future.
updated 1:15 AM EDT, Tue July 3, 2012
CNN's Rafael Romo reports on PRI's Enrique Peña Nieto and the return of the old guard.
updated 10:41 PM EDT, Mon July 2, 2012
See the scenes from Mexico's election day and aftermath
A return of the PRI had worried many observers and politicians in the United States. So what's next?
How does the U.S. electoral system compare to Mexico's? One expert weighs in on eight things the U.S. system could learn from its southern neighbor.
See and hear from everyday Mexicans on what they thing the election means for them -- and for across the border.
updated 1:42 PM EDT, Tue June 26, 2012
They love two countries, live in two worlds -- and fought to have their voices heard.
updated 6:54 AM EDT, Thu June 28, 2012
They sport purple hair and piercings, plaid shirts and plastic aviator glasses. A guy with dreadlocks totes a bongo drum.
updated 12:33 PM EDT, Mon July 9, 2012
CNN's Miguel Marquez reports that Mexico is a bright spot in an otherwise dreary world economy.
Don't let perceptions of Mexico fool you, writes Fareed Zakaria. It is quietly on the rise.
updated 9:03 AM EST, Fri January 20, 2012
There's the barrage of horror flick headlines every week, but the Mexican drug war, at its core, is about two numbers: 48,000 and 39 billion.
Follow the latest news, features and analysis from a Mexico perspective and in Spanish at CNNMexico.com
ADVERTISEMENT