Millions vote in key governor elections in Mexico

Mexico City/Ciudad Victoria/Cancún, June 5 (EFE).- Millions of Mexicans went to the polls on Sunday for six key gubernatorial elections across the country that were marked by complaints of vote buying, abstentionism, violence, the devastation of Hurricane Agatha and delays in opening of polling stations.

Almost 12 million voters were called to over 21,000 polling stations to elect the governors of Hidalgo, Oaxaca, Tamaulipas and Quintana Roo, where the ruling National Regeneration Movement (Morena) of President Andrés Manuel López Obrador triumphed, and those of Aguascalientes and Durango, which kept the opposition alliance Va por México.

National Electoral Institute (INE) president Lorenzo Córdova said that the day went off “as planned,” with the participation of more than 147,000 citizens as poll workers and 4,618 electoral observers.

But he also spoke of “adversities,” including insecurity, the Covid-19 pandemic and, in particular, the budget cut that the ruling party implemented.

Tamaulipas, on the United States border, wa s a key state due to its industry, the presence of organized crime and migratory flows.

The president of the Electoral Institute of Tamaulipas, Juan José Guadalupe Ramos, reported incidents such as propaganda from political institutions near the polling stations and some who voted without presenting a voter ID or not being on the list.

“These are situations that occur time and again on election days,” the official told EFE

During the day, the members of the ruling “Together We Make History” alliance denounced vote buying in Tamaulipas’ municipalities currently governed by the National Action Party (PAN).

Five Morena militants were arrested early in the day in the northern state of Durango, accused of buying votes.

Election day in Quintana Roo, a major tourist destination of the Mexican Caribbean, passed without serious incidents, but the 2,297 polling stations were set up only after 12pm instead of 8am.

Voter turnout was low, according to officials.

In Oaxaca, southern Mexico, the devastation caused by Hurricane Agatha, which left nine people dead last week, along with social conflicts in the communities of the mountains, prevented the opening of 81 polling stations, in which more than 36,000 people cast their ballots.

A day earlier, the state Attorney General’s Office also reported the murder of Carlos Eduardo López, operator of the campaign of Morena’s gubernatorial candidate, Salomón Jara.

Throughout the electoral process, 85 attacks against politicians were documented, including 11 pre-candidates and aspirants who faced acts of violence, according to consulting firm Etellekt.

The INE announced the first results of the quick count at 10 pm.

The official statistical sampling of the autonomous body revealed that Morena triumphed in Hidalgo, Oaxaca, Quintana Roo and Tamaulipas, while Va por México retained Aguascalientes and Durango, as the polls predicted.

These elections come a year after the midterm elections on June 6, 2021, in which Morena won 11 of 15 governor races while its ally, the Green Party, won one.

With these results, the president’s party will go from governing half of the 32 states, in addition to two governed by allies, to controlling nearly two thirds of the governorates, of which Morena only had six in 2018, when López Obrador took office. EFE


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