Latin America & Caribbean

Mexico election: Lopez Obrador challenges result

Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador at a news conference in Mexico City. Photo: 12 July 2012
Image caption Mr Lopez Obrador wants the results of the vote to be thrown out

The runner-up in Mexico's presidential election, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, has filed a legal challenge to the result of the 1 July vote.

He said he would prove that illicit money was used to buy votes and secure the victory of centrist candidate Enrique Pena Nieto, who denies this.

Mr Lopez Obrador wants the result of the vote to be deemed invalid.

Mr Pena Nieto was confirmed the winner on Friday after a final recount, with 38.21% to Mr Lopez Obrador's 31.59%.

'Sore loser'

Image caption Leftist leaders carried boxes of documents to the IFE to back up their claim

Mr Lopez Obrador, from the Party of the Democratic Revolution (PRD), lodged the challenge to Mexico's Federal Electoral Institute (IFE) just hours before the midnight filing deadline.

"The purchase and manipulation of millions of votes cannot give certainty to any result nor to the overall electoral process," he told reporters.

Mr Lopez Obrador also said Mr Pena Nieto had broken campaign rules by overspending and that Mexico's media was biased in favour of the PRI candidate.

"Article 41 of the constitution, which states that elections must be free and fair, was violated," the left-wing Mr Lopez Obrador said.

In 2006, after losing the presidential election by a narrow margin, he led weeks of protests that caused disruption in central areas of Mexico City.

Pedro Joaquin Coldwell, the head of Mr Pena Nieto's Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI), dismissed Mr Lopez Obrador's accusations as "baseless".

Image caption Mr Pena Nieto is seeking to return the PRI to the presidency after 12 years in opposition

He also described the PRD candidate as a "sore loser".

Mr Lopez Obrador's accusations of irregularities led to a re-check of about 50% of votes after the 1 July poll's results were announced.

The electoral body then said that following the recount there was no reason not to accept the result.

The IFE will early next week submit the complaints and the evidence to the Federal Electoral Court. The court has until early September to address the complaints and rule on the validity of the election.

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites