MEXICO CITY — President Felipe Calderon’s conservative National Action Party (PAN) will formally request that electoral officials probe allegations of vote buying in Mexico’s July 1 presidential election.
Enrique Pena Nieto from the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) won the ballot by a solid margin, but opponents claim he engaged in a massive scheme to purchase votes ahead of election day.
“We recognize the official results published up to now,” PAN leader Gustavo Madero said late Monday, “but there is important evidence of severe inequality and of grave faults.”
Madero, who spoke after a lengthy meeting with senior party leaders, said there was evidence that the PRI broke campaign finance spending limits, used off-the-books financing, and directly bought votes.
Pena Nieto, 45, won the election with 38 percent of the vote, followed by leftist Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador with 31 percent and the PAN’s Josefina Vazquez Mota with 25 percent, according to the final official vote result.
Lopez Obrador said Monday he was gathering evidence to ask vote officials to declare the presidential election invalid, claiming the PRI bought five million ballots. Pena Nieto obtained 3.3 million more votes than Lopez Obrador.
Madero however made it clear that the PAN will not join the leftist legal case, and will not ask for the results to be invalidated.
Calderon on Monday said the alleged vote buying was “unacceptable” and something that “had to be immediately corrected” and punished.
The PRI, in power for seven decades ending in 2000, rejected the accusations. Breaking campaign spending limits and vote buying are punishable by fines under the law.
Mexico’s Electoral Tribunal will accept challenges to the vote until Thursday, and has until September 6 to issue a verdict.
Lopez Obrador came in second in the 2006 presidential election, losing by less than one percentage point. He then led protests that virtually paralyzed Mexico City for more than a month, claiming fraud.
Tens of thousands of demonstrators marched through Mexico City on Saturday protesting Pena Nieto’s victory.
Pena Nieto, a former state governor, is scheduled to take office in December. He will inherit a country engaged in a brutal drug war and an economy struggling to create jobs.
Disney heiress who went undercover to Disneyland ‘livid’ at conditions and pay
Heiress Abigail Disney went to one of her family's resorts to see conditions for workers herself and was disgusted by what she saw.
In comments to Yahoo News podcast "Through Her Eyes," Disney described how she went to Disneyland in California undercover and found that workers at the resort were treated poorly—and underpaid.
"Every single one of these people I talked to were saying, 'I don't know how I can maintain this face of joy and warmth when I have to go home and forage for food in other people's garbage,'" said Disney.
Ex-Peru president wanted for corruption arrested in the US
Former Peruvian president Alejandro Toledo was arrested in the United States Tuesday to face extradition to his home country on corruption charges, authorities in the South American nation said.
The 73-year-old is suspected of involvement in the sprawling Odebrecht scandal in which the construction giant paid hundreds of millions of dollars in bribes throughout the continent to secure huge public works contracts.
The Peruvian attorney general's office announced on Twitter that Toledo "was arrested this morning for extradition, in the United States."
Toledo has been formally charged with receiving a $20 million payment from Odebrecht to grant it the tender to build the Interoceanic Highway that links Peru with Brazil.
Comic-Con mines past for future hits on 50th edition
A smorgasbord of sequels, prequels and reunions from "Terminator" to "Game of Thrones" awaits thousands of misty-eyed comic book geeks and sci-fi nerds descending on San Diego this week for the world's largest celebration of pop culture fandom.
The 50th edition of Comic-Con International will see 135,000 cosplayers, bloggers, movie executives and humble fans pile into a sweaty convention center for glimpses of their heroes, in town to promote the next mega-hit films, TV shows and comic books.
This anniversary edition promises to be more nostalgia-laden than most -- among those expected to appear are Arnold Schwarzenegger and Linda Hamilton, who will soon reunite on screen for the first time since 1991's "Terminator 2" for Paramount's killer cyborg sequel "Dark Fate."