[JURIST] Mexican presidential candidate Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador [campaign website, in Spanish] of the left wing party Partido de la Revolucion Democratica (PRD) [party website, in Spanish] announced Monday that he will challenge recent election results in court [press release, in Spanish]. He claimed to have evidence showing that Enrique Pena Nieto [campaign website, in Spanish] of Mexico’s ruling party, Partido Revolucionario Institucional (PRI) [party website, in Spanish], bought votes by distributing 1.8 million gift cards that amounted to billions of pesos. Obrador’s supporters also alleged that some government officials passed funds to Nieto’s campaign efforts. Even current President Felipe Calderon [BBC profile] called for an investigation into the allegations of vote buying. His National Action Party [party website, in Spanish] announced that it will file legal challenges related to the election, unlike Obrador, he is not seeking to annul the electoral result. Obrador came in second, 6.62 percent behind Nieto, who won the election with 38.21 percent of the vote. Nieto’s electoral victory was confirmed [JURIST report] by a final vote count last Friday. The Federal Electoral Institute (IFE) [official website, in Spanish] recounted around half of results from the election’s 143,132 polling stations after finding evidence of inconsistencies [JURIST report]. Obrador had requested a total recount [Telegraph report] after he finished second behind Nieto in the July 1 election. Nieto is expected to assume office in December.
A similar tension between presidential candidates occurred in 2006 when the incumbent Mexican president Vicente Fox [Britannica profile] was blocked [JURIST report] from delivering the traditional state of the nation address before the country’s Congress [official website, in Spanish] by protesting leftist lawmakers supporting presidential candidate Obrador. In August the country’s Federal Electoral Tribunal (FET) [official website, in Spanish] rejected most challenges dismissing fraud allegations brought by Obrador who filed over 200 separate complaints challenging the preliminary vote count [JURIST reports]. During the same month supporters of Obrador had gathered outside of the FET to protest the court’s decision not to hold a full recount [JURIST reports] of July’s election.