Mexico’s presidential election returns the PRI to power under a cloud of accusations of massive voter fraud and election irregularities.
The challenges to the election’s results being raised by the opposition Party of the Democratic Revolution have yet to be resolved; but, it is hard to imagine that the Electoral Tribunal of Judicial Power of the Federation will annul the past election and call for a new one.
The Civic Alliance, which had election observers in place, estimates that 21% of the voting polls reported violations of voter privacy. In addition, a poll of Mexican voters found that nearly 30% reported being exposed to at least one example of vote-buying or coercion.
What is so interesting about the nonpartisan organization’s report is that all parties benefited from vote-buying, it is just that in 71% of the cases, the votes went to the PRI, whereas 17% for the PAN, 9% the PRD and 3% went to Panal. That the PRI was better organized and had more money is what accounts for the difference.
It is precisely this difference that brings the legitimacy of Enrique Pena Nieto to lead into question. The vote buying completely strips away once and for all his claim that the PRI has evolved into a democratic organization.
Unfortunately, these developments make the post-election climate not conducive to consensus-building, which is precisely what Mexico’s new political reality needs.
Given the lack of a majority in Congress, Pena Nieto will need the parties to find common ground in order to move his legislative agenda forward. Right now, however, the PRD is too enraged over the vote-buying scandal and those in the PAN remain angry over the PRI’s opposition to the agenda of President Calderon.
That said, the Mexican reality is still in flux. The election isn’t over until the challenges are resolved and, until that time, speculation rules.