Chiapas: electoral crisis heats up

From the Chiapas daily Estesur, Sept. 3 (our translation):

PRIista marches against “electoral fraud”
Tuxtla Gutierrez – 13 days after the state elections, the candidate of the Alliance for Chiapas, the PRIista Jose Antonio Aguilar Bodegas, led a march and gathering through the principal streets of Tuxtla Gutierrez [the state capital], where thousands of supporters joined him in demanding that the state Electoral Tribunal Electoral del estado, “adhere to legality and independence”.

Until now, the parties PRI [Institutional Revolutionary Party] and PVEM [Mexican Ecological Green Party], which make up the Alliance for Chiapas, have challenged before the Elecotral Tribunal a total of 580 ballot boxes, corresponding to more than 28 thousand votes, with the intent of reversing the Aug. 20 elections for state governor.

Jose Antonio Aguilar Bodegas, gubernatorial candidate of the Alliance for Chiapasa, asserted that the State Electoral Institute illegitimately awarded a majority to the candidate of the coalition For the Good of All [Por el Bien de Todos], Juan Sabines, without taking into account the challenges.

This irregulaity, said Aguilar Bodegas, constitutes a violation of Article 263 of the Chiapas State Electoral Code, which establishes that there can be no declaration of victory when there are challenges, such as those filed by the PRI and PVEM.

“I want to ask them to be certain of the result”, said the PRIista before more than 10 thousand sympathizers, dressed in white, who during the march carried flowers, globes and doves as symbols of peace.

He demanded that the magistrates of the Electoral Tribunal act with freedom and autonomy fro Governor Pablo Salazar, “unlike the members of the State Electoral Institute, who declared a majority before the electoral process had been concluded”.

During the rally in the central plaza outside the Palace of Government, Aguilar Bodegas, pledged to “defeat the ones plotting this imposition.”

He said that if the magistrates of the Electoral Tribunal of the State Judicial Power do not follow the law, he will appeal to the Electoral Tribunal of the Federal Judicial Power (TRIFE), “to assure that there are clean elections in Chiapas.”

He affirmed that the struggle for democracy and legality would be permanent until it has defeated those “who abuse their power and seek to violate the popular will as expressed at the ballot box.”


Aguilar Bodegas, who was supported in his gubernatoral campaign by an alliance between historically hostile parties, the ruling National Action Party (PAN) and the Institutional Revolutionary (PRI), to confront the leftist coalition of [presidential candidate] Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador. The PAN, PANAL ([New Alliance Party] an offshoot from the PRI) and the PRI formed an alliance ten days before the state elections to oppose the leftist alliance.

According to the State Electoral Institute, Juan Sabines, the PRD candidate, won the local election on Aug. 20, obtaining 553,270 votes to Aguilar Bodegas’ 546,980.

The Electoral Tribunal of the State Judicial Power has until Sept. 30 to announce its decision.

Also participating in the march was the state director of the PRI, Juan Trinidad, the delegate of the party’s national committee Victor Hugo Islas, local and federal deputies, PRIista mayors, business leaders, campesinos, indigenous and housewives, who came from various regions of Chiapas.

See our last posts on Mexico and Chiapas.