Mexico’s Lopez Obrador not ready to concede election

BBC, 7/3/12

With almost all votes counted, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador is six points behind the presumed President-elect Enrique Pena Nieto…

Mr Lopez Obrador has not ruled out challenging the result.

“I cannot accept any results, until I have complete certainty that the citizens’ vote was respected, and the election was not falsified,” he told a news conference on Monday.

He said the electoral process had been neither fair nor clean, and the election was “rife with irregularities”.

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IFE reports electoral votes from Mexicans living abroad [in Spanish]

IFE 7/2/12

The IFE has released a press release detailing the electoral results from Mexicans living abroad:

Josefina Vázquez Mota (PAN) came in first with 17,169 votes

Andrés Manuel López Obrador (PRD) came in second with 15,878 votes

Enrique Peña Nieto(PRI/PVEM) came in third with 6,359 votes


Meet Mexico’s new President Enrique Peña Nieto

NBC Latino, 7/2/12

Mexico’s voters have chosen 45-year-old Enrique Peña Nieto to run their country…Peña Nieto represents the Institutional Revolutionary Party, PRI, the party that ruled Mexico for 71 years before Mexicans elected PRI-opponent Vicente Fox 12 years ago…

“He has a certain connection with people, particularly with women, and I think this will help him if he’s able to channel all of this into policy,” says NBC News Latin American policy analyst Jorge Castañeda, a former Mexican foreign minister who teaches Latin American affairs at NYU and Columbia University…

“Many Mexicans see the PRI as the party that can deliver results,” says Andrew Selee, director of the Woodrow Wilson Center’s Mexico Institute. “They want to bring them back because they think they might be able to do something about the violence in the country and they might be able to do something to make the economy more dynamic,” he added.

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Mexico’s Presidential Election

NPR, The Diane Rehm Show, 7/2/12

Eric Olson

The Woodrow Wilson Center’s Eric L. Olson, the Associate Director of the Mexico Institute,  will be on NPR’s Diane Rehm show this morning at 11 to discuss the Mexican elections.

You can find more information about the program or where to listen to it here

Mexican presidential vote expected to change little on crime strategy, relations with U.S.

Dallas Morning News, 6/24/12

No matter who wins next Sunday’s presidential election here, party officials and observers don’t expect any major transformation in U.S.-Mexico relations, nor do they see a major shift in the strategy against organized crime, at least not beyond the surface…

They may do things that will be more along the lines of changing the nuances than changing the overall strategy,” said Andrew Selee, vice president for programs and director of the Woodrow Wilson Center’s Mexico Institute, which promotes dialogue and understanding between the U.S. and Mexico. “There might be some tweaking of the strategy here or there, more for cosmetic reasons, but I see no major abrupt changes in strategy. My guess is that security is so important to both countries that neither government will do anything that would jeopardize that.”

Vázquez Mota has called for the U.S. to do more to lower demand for drugs and stop the flow of guns south, a call echoed by all candidates and past presidents. During a recent Woodrow Wilson Center forum in Washington, Vázquez Mota’s top foreign adviser, Ruben Beltran, reiterated the need for the two nations to include Central America and the Caribbean nations in the mix, ensuring “that every country does its part to confront organized crime. … We should not limit our sources of information coming from the United States. We need to look at other North American countries. We have to create a North American regional security strategy to become more effective.”

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Don’t fear a PRI win in Mexico [op-ed]

LA Times, Jorge Castañeda, 6/22/12


On July 1, Mexico will in all likelihood vote the Institutional Revolutionary Party, or PRI, which ruled the country for seven decades, back into power…Many Mexicans, as well as the country’s foreign friends, fear that this turn of events heralds a return to the authoritarian, corrupt and discredited past that Mexico had left behind when the National Action Party’s candidate, Vicente Fox, won the presidency in 2000.

As someone who contributed to the PRI’s defeat, I would prefer a different victor this year: an independent candidate, a center-left social democrat or a center-right leader running on the best parts of Fox’s and outgoing President Felipe Calderon‘s record (while repudiating Calderon’s bloody and futile war of choice against Mexico’s drug lords). But I reject the notion that a PRI victory would automatically restore the status quo ante, as if Mexico, its links to the world and the PRI itself had stood still throughout the last 12 years.

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Mexico’s 2012 Elections

Congressional Research Services, Clare Ribando Seelke, 6/20/12

Given the close and complex relationship that the United States has with neighboring Mexico, the results of the July 1, 2012 Mexican elections are of interest to U.S. policy makers. As Mexico does not allow consecutive reelection for any office, the results of these elections could lead to significant changes in the country’s political landscape and the Mexican government’s approach to aspects of its relations with the United States…

This report provides an overview of the parties and candidates competing in the Mexican federal elections with a focus on the presidential contest, followed by a discussion of key issues in the campaign that could have implications for U.S.-Mexican relations. It will be updated after the election results are tallied.

Download a PDF of the report here