- Title: MEXICO: POLITICS - Party of President Calderon loses Congress vote
- Date: 7th July 2009
- Summary: MEXICO CITY , MEXICO (JULY 5, 2009) (REUTERS) FEDERAL ELECTORAL INSTITUTE CENTER WITH PRELIMINARY RESULTS GRAPHS SHOWING ELECTORAL RESULTS MAP SHOWING ELECTORAL RESULTS BY STATE JOURNALIST WATCHING DISPLAYED RESULTS (SOUNDBITE) (SPANISH) FELIPE CALDERON, PRESIDENT OF MEXICO, SAYING: "This electoral journey represents the conclusion of a contest between parties that was marked by the contrast in policy projects and by the natural discrepancy between opinions. However, the contest has ended. The rivalry must be left behind and now we must concentrate our efforts on finding common ground, in focusing on that which unites us and in reaching the agreements the country needs to recover, as soon as possible, economic growth, job creation and public safety." VARIOUS OF JOURNALISTS WORKING AT MEDIA ROOM (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) FEDERAL ELECTORAL INSTITUTE PRESIDENT COUNSELOR, LEONARDO VALDEZ , SAYING: "I repeat my highest recognition to all the citizens who were a part of this process, as ballot officials, electoral observers, foreign visitors and electoral councils of local and district councils. They did everything possible for this election to be exemplary in its organization and trustworthy in its results. I also appreciate the democratic civility of the parties and the communication of our institution." VARIOUS OF FEDERAL ELECTORAL INSTITUTE OFFICIALS AND POLITICAL PARTIES REPRESENTATIVES DURING COUNCIL SESSION
- Embargoed: 23rd July 2009 02:19
- Location: Mexico
- Country: Mexico
- Topics: Domestic Politics
- Reuters ID: LVAAL0ZENKC1S2PDXGDIYZ30SXF6
- Aspect Ratio: 4:3
- Story Text: Mexican voters punished President Felipe Calderon on Sunday (July 5) for a deep recession and rampant crime, dealing defeat to the ruling party in mid-term congressional elections.
The setback for the ruling National Action Party, or PAN, complicates Calderon's attempts to push economic reforms through the lower house of Congress where he needs support from the opposition.
Mexico's economy is due to shrink more than 6 percent this year mostly due to the downturn in the United States while oil output, long a pillar of public finances, is falling fast.
Calderon, an ally of U.S. President Barack Obama in the fight against Mexican drug cartels, called on Congress to work with him.
"Rivalry must be left behind and now we must concentrate our efforts on finding common ground to achieve the agreements the country needs to recover economic growth, job creation and public safety," Calderon said in an address to the nation.
The result raises the specter of Calderon, a determined conservative, becoming a lame duck president but the opposition has signaled it might help advance some kind of economic reform agenda.
Calderon's party admitted losing to the Institutional Revolutionary Party, or PRI, which led by almost 9 percentage points with votes counted from 60 percent of polling stations.
The election was a clear victory for a newly resurgent PRI, which ruled Mexico for most of the 20th century until President Vicente Fox ousted it in elections nine years ago.
The PRI will be the biggest party in the lower house of Congress where all 500 seats were up for grabs on Sunday and is eyeing a comeback at presidential elections in 2012. It also did well in elections for governors on Sunday.
The PAN has failed to create jobs, forcing millions to cross the U.S. border illegally in search of work. Robberies, kidnappings and muggings are common in Mexican cities.
The president's approval ratings are high and voters generally support his war against drug cartels. More than 12,300 people have died since he dispatched the army to battle drug gangs three years ago but Congress has not played a major role in the fight.
The PRI has already watered down reform attempts by Calderon, who has lacked a majority in Congress since he became president in a tight election in 2006.
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