[JURIST] Mexico’s Electoral Tribunal [official website, in Spanish] on Thursday upheld [press release, in Spanish] the results of the country’s recent presidential election, after finding that there was no evidence that the winning candidate, Enrique Pena Nieto [campaign website, in Spanish] violated election regulations. Mexican presidential candidate Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador [campaign website, in Spanish] of the left wing Partido de la Revolucion Democratica (PRD) [party website, in Spanish] announced in July that he was challenging the election results in court [JURIST report]. He claimed to have evidence showing that Nieto, of Mexico’s ruling 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. The tribunal unanimously rejected [Reuters report] the allegations Thursday, clearing the way for Nieto to ascend to take office in December. The tribunal must still rule on some administrative issues before Nieto will be declared the official president-elect.
Current Mexican President Felipe Calderon [BBC profile] had also called for an investigation into the allegations of vote buying. His National Action Party [party website, in Spanish] announced that it would file legal challenges related to the election, but unlike Obrador, he did not seek 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 in early July. 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 after he finished second behind Nieto in the July 1 election.