Teaching Comparative Government and Politics

Tuesday, June 06, 2017

Losing by winning

Mexico's PRI has won the election (with 33.7% of the vote) for governor of the State of Mexico. But it may have lost many other things.

P.R.I. Closes In on Narrow Victory in State of Mexico Governor’s Race
Mexico’s most powerful political party was on the verge of a clear victory in the closely fought race for the governorship of the nation’s most populous state, according to a nearly completed preliminary vote count on Monday night…

The close finish practically ensures that the matter will be litigated in the courts and perhaps even in the streets, both common features of Mexican electoral politics…

Andrés Manuel López Obrador, the pugnacious head of the left-wing National Regeneration Movement, whose candidate was the runner-up in the preliminary count, said Monday that he would demand an examination of ballots and suggested that the P.R.I. had engaged in fraud to secure victory…

The winner on Sunday
According to preliminary results, Alfredo del Mazo Maza, the P.R.I. candidate, had 33.7 percent of the vote. His closest rival, Mr. López Obrador’s handpicked candidate, Delfina Gómez Álvarez, had 30.8 percent…

Even in apparent defeat in the State of Mexico, Mr. López Obrador’s party, also known as Morena, has by some measures emerged victorious, analysts said.

The three-year-old party nearly delivered a stunning upset in the P.R.I.’s historic bastion of power, exposing its vulnerabilities and helping to establish Morena’s legitimacy in the national political arena.

The election results in general — with two-thirds of votes going to opposition candidates — also revealed the widespread disillusionment with the governing party regionally and nationally…

But some analysts also attributed the P.R.I. victory to the use of political favors and, they said, the party’s expert use of dark electoral arts. While most political parties in Mexico have been accused of employing techniques like vote-buying and intimidation, the P.R.I., in its decades-long dominance of Mexican politics, demonstrated an unparalleled expertise.

During its monopoly of presidential politics, stretching from 1929 until its first defeat, in 2000, the P.R.I. achieved many of its electoral victories by employing increasingly sophisticated methods of fraud and coercion…

The agency that monitors electoral crimes has opened more than 230 cases into irregularities associated with the State of Mexico campaign, more than double the number in the last election for governor six years ago…

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