Mexico's election authorities announced Wednesday that they have decided to recount votes from more than half of the 143,000 polling stations in Sunday's presidential elections after finding inconsistencies in the vote tallies.
Edmundo Jacobo, Executive Secretary of the Federal Electoral Institute (IFE), declared that 78,012 of the ballot boxes used in the presidential election would be reopened this week for recounting, and added that the recount was "an exercise in openness and transparency".
Under Mexican electoral law, recounting of votes is required if there are inconsistencies in the final tally reports. Also, recounting is needed if the result shows a difference of one percentage point or less between the first- and second-placed candidate and if all the votes in one ballot box are in favor of the same candidate.
Preliminary results from the presidential polls indicate that Enrique Pena Nieto of the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) is leading his nearest rival, leftist candidate Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, by nearly 7 percentage points.
With 99% of the votes counted, Nieto is leading with 38 percent, ahead of Obrador, who secured 31.7 percent of the votes. The candidate of the ruling National Action Party (PAN), Josefina Vazquez Mota, is trailing with 26 percent of the votes, and has conceded defeat. Official declaration of final results is expected by Sunday.
Nevertheless, Obrador, who is the candidate of the leftist Party of the Democratic Revolution (PRD), has refused to admit defeat, accusing Nieto of violating electoral rules. The 59 year-old former Mayor of Mexico city also accused PRI of buying "millions of votes." He has demanded a recount of the votes, insisting that the election was neither fair nor transparent.
Obrador's defiance has raised fears that he could lead disruptive mass protests like he did six years ago, when he swore himself in as the "legitimate president of Mexico" after refusing to concede defeat to Felipe Calderon in the 2006 Presidential election.
Nieto, however, has claimed victory and vowed that his administration would have a "new way of governing." Nieto has also rejected Obrador's accusations that his PRI party had spent more than its allotted electoral budget, and denied allegations of vote buying.
Elections were also held Sunday to both Houses of Congress, Mexico City mayor, Governorships in six states and local governments. Reports suggest that the centrist PRI is also likely to retake control of at least one of the two Chambers of Parliament and is leading in some Governorships. Mexico's economy and its continued war on drugs had dominated the election campaign.
by RTT Staff Writer
For comments and feedback: email@example.com