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Mexico electoral authorities will recount presidential votes

After finding evidence of inconsistencies Mexico's electoral authorities on Thursday announced that they will recount votes cast in Sunday's presidential election. Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador [official website, in Spanish] of the left wing party Partido de la Revolucion Democratica [party website, in Spanish] requested [Telegraph report] a total recount after he finished second behind the leading candidate Enrique Pena Nieto of the county's ruling party Partido Revolucionario Institucional [party website, in Spanish]. Obrador accused [BBC News report] Nieto of breaking electoral rules through his party having bought votes. Nieto has denied the allegations. The Federal Electoral Institute (IFE) [official website, in Spanish] said that votes cast at 78,012 of the 143,132 polling stations would be recounted. According to the country's electoral law, votes are recounted if:

1) there are inconsistencies in the final tally report 2) the result shows a difference of one percentage point or less between the first and second-placed candidate 3) all the votes in one ballot box are cast in favour of the same candidate
Obrador claimed that the electoral process was not fair because his opponent and his party spent more than the allotted electoral budget. The final official result is expected to be announced by next Sunday but the IFE has until September 6 to address complaints and formally declare a president-elect.

A similar tension between presidential candidates occurred in 2006 when the incumbent Mexican president Vicente Fox [Britannica profile] was blocked [JURIST report] from delivering the traditional state of the nation address before the country's Congress [official website, in Spanish] by protesting leftist lawmakers supporting presidential candidate Obrador. In August the country's Federal Electoral Tribunal (FET) [official website, in Spanish] rejected most challenges dismissing fraud allegations brought by Obrador who filed over 200 separate complaints challenging the preliminary vote count [JURIST reports]. During the same month supporters of Obrador had gathered outside of the FET to protest the court's decision not to hold a full recount [JURIST reports] of July's election.

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Paper Chase is JURIST's real-time legal news service, powered by a team of 30 law student reporters and editors led by law professor Bernard Hibbitts at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. As an educational service, Paper Chase is dedicated to presenting important legal news and materials rapidly, objectively and intelligibly in an accessible format.

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