- Title: Mexicans see trouble for ruling PRI party, despite state election win
- Date: 5th June 2017
- Summary: (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) RESIDENT, DELFINO VARGAS, SAYING: "It was a very close election. Citizens are sending a message and I think the Institutional (Revolutionary) Party should reflect some after these votes to do a very good job these coming six years." RESIDENTS READING NEWSPAPERS IN STREET
- Embargoed: 19th June 2017 21:51
- Keywords: PRI state of Mexico Lopez Obrador Morena leftist ruling party election
- Location: TOLUCA, STATE OF MEXICO AND MEXICO CITY, MEXICO
- City: TOLUCA, STATE OF MEXICO AND MEXICO CITY, MEXICO
- Country: Mexico
- Topics: Government/Politics,Elections/Voting
- Reuters ID: LVA0036K0466B
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Mexico's ruling party has narrowly fended off a leftist challenger in a major state election seen as a test run for a presidential vote next year. But the second-placed leftist group has vowed not to give up, voicing calls for a possible recount.
The Institutional Revolutionary Party's (PRI) three percentage-point margin of victory in the central State of Mexico, the country's most populous, was a close call for President Enrique Pena Nieto, whose party has ruled it for nearly nine decades. With nearly 98 percent of returns in from polling stations, PRI candidate Alfredo del Mazo had 34 percent of the vote compared with 31 percent for MORENA candidate Delfina Gomez.
But the leftist MORENA Party started by 2018 presidential candidate Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador has also declared victory for its candidate, Gomez. The young party accused the PRI of vote buying and other dirty tricks, and may launch legal challenges in the weeks to come.
PRI's Del Mazo had a poor showing compared to his predecessors despite his family's dominance in the state's politics. He secured barely half the share of vote and a fraction of the margin of victory that the current governor won six years ago with the backing of Pena Nieto, himself a former governor of the state whose own popularity has since plunged.
Lopez Obrador's State of Mexico campaign was hurt by a failure to ally with others in the opposition and references by rivals to crisis-hit Venezuela, which the PRI argues mirrors his economic model. He denies the accusation.
A narrow defeat will not end, or even dampen, the aspirations of leftists led by veteran Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, an early favourite for next year's presidential race as the contender of the National Regeneration Movement (MORENA) party.
The PRI is battling widespread anger at corruption and rising violent crime under Pena Nieto as the countdown starts for the July 2018 presidential election.
Victory for Lopez Obrador in 2018 could push Mexico in a more nationalist direction at a time of tension with the United States, with U.S. President Donald Trump riling Mexicans with threats to tear up the North American Free Trade Agreement and build a border wall.
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