Chiapas: campesinos pledge resistance if election overturned

The state leader of the Chiapas branch of the Independent Center of Campesinos and Rural Workers (CIOAC), Luis Hernandez Cruz, told a march of some 15,000 followers in the state capital, Tuxtla Gutierrez, that if the Federal Electoral Tribunal (TRIFE) overturns the victory of leftist gubernatorial candidate Juan Sabines Guerrero, there will be a "social explosion" throughout Chiapas, similar to that in Oaxaca. (APRO, Oct. 18)

Sabines, candidate of the Democratic Revolution Party (PRD), was leading Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) candidate Jose Antonio Aguilar by 6,300 votes following the initial count after the Aug. 20 election. The PRI filed complaints in over 400 polling places, but the TRIFE ordered recounts in only 214. Sabines, the former mayor of Tuxtla Gutierrez, expressed confidence that the recount would confirm his victory. He also scolded federal PRD legislators on a national radio interview, saying they should respect the TRIFE's decision.

"I would ask that the PRD demonstrate prudence and respect toward the magistrates," he said. "I think they should show more respect for the work they do and the professional ethics they demonstrate. It is not right to automatically reject their judgment just because the votes don't favor you."

Sabines only recently joined the PRD, leaving the PRI earlier this year after he failed to win the gubernatorial nomination. Aguilar was favored by the PRI's central committee in Mexico City despite the objections of PRI officials in Chiapas who overwhelmingly supported Sabines. (El Universal, Oct. 19)

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