Mexican left-right coalition challenges election winner | News | DW | 19.07.2012
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Mexican left-right coalition challenges election winner

A bi-partisan left-right coalition has formed in Mexico to demand an investigation into allegations of vote buying and money laundering by the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI). The PRI has denied the allegations.

Mexico's incumbent conservatives and the leftist opposition joined forces on Thursday in calling for an investigation into allegations that the election campaign of President-elect Enrique Pena Nieto engaged in vote buying and money laundering.

The leader of the center-right National Action Party (PAN) Gustavo Madero told reporters that his party was filing a legal complaint accusing Nieto's PRI of handing out pre-paid cards to buy votes. The gift cards purportedly amounted to around 108 million pesos ($8.2 million).

Madero also accused PRI of engaging in money laundering to help finance Nieto's presidential campaign.

"Any money coming from illicit sources can be laundered money," Madero said. "It could be stolen, it could be from tax evasion, it could be money they have taken from a company, from the government or from state governments."

Bi-partisan accusations

Madero's PAN joins the leftist Party of the Democratic Revolution (PRD) in leveling accusations of vote buying and laundering against Nieto and the PRI. Election runner-up and PRD leader Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador has contested the poll results, filing a motion with the electoral commission to have the vote annulled.

Nieto won the election with 38.2 percent of the vote, more than six percent ahead of Lopez Obrador. His victory brings the PRI back to power after its historic defeat in the 2000 presidential election, which ended the party's seven decades of continuous rule.

The PRI has rejected the accusations and has called on the attorney general's office to bring defamation charges against PAN and the PRD.

"They should punish those that are using lies as an instrument of political propaganda," said PRI spokesman Pedro Joaquin Coldwell.

slk/rc (AP, Reuters)