Protesters march against Mexico's president-elect

MEXICO CITY Sat Jul 7, 2012 10:15pm EDT

1 of 6. Anti-Institutional Revolutionary Party, or anti-PRI, protesters from the opposition movement Yosoy132 (I am 132) hold up signs during a demonstration in Cancun July 7, 2012.

Credit: Reuters/Victor Ruiz Garcia

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - Thousands of protesters marched through the Mexican capital on Saturday against President-elect Enrique Pena Nieto, accusing him of buying votes and paying off TV networks for support.

The demonstrators, including students, leftists, anarchists and union members, shouted slogans criticizing Pena Nieto's Institutional Revolutionary Party, or PRI, and the electoral authority.

Pena Nieto won Sunday's election by almost 7 percentage points, according to the official count, returning the PRI to presidential power after 12 years in the wilderness.

The PRI previously ruled Mexico for seven decades, during which time it was accused of rigging elections and repressing protesters.

"The PRI threatens many people and buys others with a couple of tacos," said Manuel Ocegueda, a 43-year-old shop worker participating in the march.

Pena Nieto is due to take power in December, replacing Felipe Calderon of the conservative National Action Party, or PAN.

The constitution barred Calderon from running for a second term. The PAN candidate, Josefina Vazquez Mota, finished third, with many voters dissatisfied over relentless drug violence and sluggish growth.

Leftist Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador finished in second place, but has refused to concede, accusing Pena Nieto of stealing the presidency.

Pena Nieto denies any wrongdoing and PRI officials say they could sue Lopez Obrador over the accusations.

Lopez Obrador was runner-up as well in the 2006 presidential race, but by a much closer margin, after which he also said there had been fraud and led major protests.

He has so far stayed away from protests this year, but said he was collecting evidence of fraud to give to officials.

On Saturday, Lopez Obrador called on the PAN to join forces with him to file a legal challenge to the election.

Mexico's electoral tribunal has until September to evaluate any complaints and officially name Pena Nieto as the next Mexican president.

Pena Nieto, 45, a former state governor, promises to reform Mexico's oil industry and labor laws to kick-start growth and boost security spending to reduce the country's high murder rate.

Calderon has congratulated Pena Nieto on his electoral victory, along with dozens of world leaders.

(Reporting By Lizbeth Diaz and Gabriel Stargardter; Writing by Ioan Grillo; Editing by Peter Cooney)

We welcome comments that advance the story through relevant opinion, anecdotes, links and data. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can flag it to our editors by using the report abuse links. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of Reuters. For more information on our comment policy, see http://blogs.reuters.com/fulldisclosure/2010/09/27/toward-a-more-thoughtful-conversation-on-stories/
Comments (1)
panchoriataz wrote:
It is high time that we as citizens have the right to self expresion, i voted for amlo, vicente voted for pena nieto, i have known our expresident for many years and i have to admit i admire him, how ever, we must admit that this election was the the most ever clean exercise democratic act in mexicos history. In great part to him. I call to everybody to enbrace the results and get on to build a great nation, MEXICO has a date with history, lets not be petty and not be ready for it.

Jul 08, 2012 3:24pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.