Last weekend saw Mexicans head to the polls to elect a new President. It didn’t look to be a close race, with Enrique Pena Nieto looking likely to win and lead the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) back into a virtual one-party rule.Now things aren’t as simple as they once looked.
Officials spent yesterday recounting votes taken at 78,012 of the 143,132 polling stations, the BBC reports, after Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador of the leftist PRD demanded a total recount.
A recount was called for immediately after reports of voters being offered gift cards at supermarkets by the PRI if they voted. While these gift cards wouldn’t be illegal under Mexican election law, the AP notes, but they must be reported and must not exceed campaign funding limits.
Both the PRI and the supermarket involved has denied they issued gift cards, but the scandal highlights the big issue of money in Mexican politics. The PRI ruled for 70 years until it was ousted in 2000, and during that time it oversaw the mass privatization of a number of Mexican industries. Overnight it created a new class of Mexican billionaire, who many feel have been loyal to the party since, and used their assets — for example. television stations — to support them.
Preliminary reports from Mexican newspaper Milenio suggests the recount is around 84% done, and Pena Nieto looks likely to remain winner.
NOW WATCH: Briefing videos
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.