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Results Stalled In Baja Governor’s Race

Aired 7/8/13 on KPBS News.

Mexico’s Institutional Revolutionary Party, or PRI, dominated elections in most of the 15 states where citizens went to the polls on Sunday. The closely-watched Baja governor's race won't be called until later this week.

Aired 7/9/13 on KPBS News.

Mexico’s Institutional Revolutionary Party, or PRI, dominated elections in most of the 15 states where citizens went to the polls on Sunday. The closely-watched Baja governor's race won't be called until later this week.

Mexico’s Institutional Revolutionary Party, or PRI, dominated elections in most of the 15 states where citizens went to the polls on Sunday. The PRI also claimed most municipal and legislative seats in states bordering the U.S., although the party lost in several key border cities.

One of the most closely watched races — for governor of Baja California — won’t be called until later this week because of an error in the computer vote tabulation system.

That race has symbolic significance. In 1989, Baja California became the first state to elect a candidate from a party other than the dynastic PRI, which held a tight grip on Mexico for 71 years following the Mexican Revolution.

This year, the PRI looked poised to potentially take back the Baja governor’s seat.

Plus, some analysts believe the outcome of the Baja governor’s race could affect the future of a delicate political pact forged by the country’s major parties.

Mexican president Enrique Peña Nieto is counting on that pact to help him push through controversial reforms to the state-run oil company and the tax system.

Both major candidates for governor of Baja — Fernando Castro Trenti of the PRI and Francisco Vega de Lamadrid of the National Action Party, or PAN — declared victory on Sunday night. But after learning of the computer glitch, the candidates said they would respect the final count.

Election authorities said the problem affected no more than 1 percent of the vote.

Before the official rapid count was called off, results showed PAN candidate Vega de Lamadrid with a three-point lead over Castro Trenti, with nearly 98 percent of votes tabulated.

At the municipal level, PRI candidates were leading Monday in Tijuana, Tecate and Ensenada, while the PAN candidates led in Mexicali and Playas de Rosarito.

Elsewhere, the vote count appeared to be progressing smoothly.

With more than 98 percent of votes counted, the PRI took the majority of municipalities and state legislative seats in Tamaulipas, with the exception of the border cities of Nuevo Laredo and Matamoros, which both went to the PAN.

The PRI — in alliance with smaller parties — also appeared to capture the vast majority of legislative seats and municipalities in Chihuahua, which borders New Mexico and part of Texas. PRI municipal wins included Ciudad Juarez and the capital Chihuahua.

The elections were marred by violence in some parts of the country. In Chihuahua, the PRI candidate for a municipality in the southern part of the state was found dead near a highway in June after disappearing a few nights before.

In Mexicali, the capital of Baja California, a group attacked one polling station on Sunday, burning some ballot boxes.

Voter participation was fairly low. In Baja California, just 39 percent of eligible voters cast ballots, according to electoral authorities.

Comments

Avatar for user 'Missionaccomplished'

Missionaccomplished | July 8, 2013 at 10:37 p.m. ― 9 months, 1 week ago

If the official results from their Electoral Commission will not be known until Wednesday, why do you say "stalled"? (speaking for Baja only.)

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Avatar for user 'Missionaccomplished'

Missionaccomplished | July 8, 2013 at 10:39 p.m. ― 9 months, 1 week ago

How bizarre that President Pe~a minimizes the violence in Juarez and the PRI (Pena's party) wins in Juarez!

Throughout the 90s, when the female homicides began, Juarez was and remained a PRI stronghold.

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