With 98.83% of the ballot boxes counted, Mexico’s centrist Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) and the allied Green Ecological Party of Mexico (PVEM) had won all 25 districts in Aug. 5 legislative elections in the southern state of Oaxaca. The Alliance That Builds [Alianza Que Construye], the PRI-PVEM coalition, got 412,798 votes to 238,292 for the center-left For the Good of All coalition [Por el Bien de Todos], which is made up of the Party of the Democratic Revolution (PRD), the Workers Party (PT) and the Convergence party. The center-right National Action Party (PAN) of Mexican president Felipe Calderon Hinojosa came in third with 113,646 votes. Just 36.42% of the state’s 2.4 million voters turned out for the election.
The results were a big victory for PRI governor Ulises Ruiz Ortiz, who was the target of militant demonstrations and occupations that paralyzed the state for seven months in 2006. The Popular Assembly of the Peoples of Oaxaca (APPO), which led the protests in 2006, had called for a “punishment vote” against the PRI and the PAN, while the PRD had hoped to capitalize on dissatisfaction with Ruiz. Once the results were final on Aug. 6, the APPO and the PRD immediately blamed each other for the PRI sweep. A PRD official, Edgar Pereira, complained that the PRI had campaigned to associate his party with the APPO to “give [the PRD] a violent image.” According to Castulo Lopez Pacheco, an APPO spokesperson, the problem was that “there’s little credibility in the opposition parties.”
The PAN continued to dominate the northwestern state of Baja California Norte in gubernatorial, legislative and municipal elections on Aug. 5. The PAN’s Jose Guadalupe Osuna Millan won the governorship with 50% of the vote; outgoing Tijuana mayor Jorge Hank Rhon, son of the legendary PRI boss Carlos Hank Gonzalez, followed with 43%; the PRD, which has no base in the state, came in a distant third with 2%. The PAN took back Tijuana and will hold a strong majority in the legislature. (LJ, Aug. 7)
From Weekly News Update on the Americas, Aug. 12