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Mexican president-elect accused of laundering money in his campaign

Friday, July 20th 2012 - 07:37 UTC
Full article 15 comments
Lopez Obrador managed the support from the Conservatives in his accusation Lopez Obrador managed the support from the Conservatives in his accusation

Mexico's ruling conservatives lent their support to accusations that President-elect Enrique Peña Nieto benefited from laundered money in his campaign, piling more pressure on the country's next leader.

Gustavo Madero, chairman of the National Action Party (PAN) of outgoing President Felipe Calderón, told reporters on Thursday he was presenting a legal complaint about money laundering to the federal attorney general's office.

“Any money coming from illicit sources can be laundered money” Madero said. ”It could be stolen, it could be from tax evasion, it could be money they have taken from a company, from the government or from state governments.”

Madero was speaking at a joint news conference with Jesús Zambrano, chairman of the Party of the Democratic Revolution (PRD), the main leftist grouping behind presidential runner-up Andrés Manuel López Obrador, who has led the accusations against Peña Nieto.

The attorney general's office does not have the power to overturn the July 1 election.

However, money laundering charges could damage Peña Nieto, whose win puts the presidency back in the hands of the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI). The PRI ruled Mexico from 1929 until 2000, when it was defeated by the PAN.

Peña Nieto won the July 1 election with 38.2% of the vote, against Lopez Obrador with 31.6% and PAN's Josefina Vazquez Mota with 25.4%.

Lopez Obrador has also legally challenged the vote with the electoral tribunal, accusing Peña Nieto of buying votes and calling for the election to be annulled.

The electoral tribunal has until September to rule on those charges and officially declare Peña Nieto president. It is widely expected to uphold the election.

Peña Nieto, who is due to take office on Dec. 1, has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing and has called his win “categorical.” Calderón has congratulated him on his victory, as have dozens of world leaders.

Responding to the joint PAN-PRD announcement, PRI chairman Pedro Joaquin Coldwell dismissed the allegations as unfounded and called on the attorney general's office to bring defamation charges against his party's accusers.

“They should punish those that are using lies as an instrument of political propaganda,” he told a news conference.

Categories: Politics, Latin America.

Top Comments

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  • British_Kirchnerist

    To unite PAN and PRD against them, PRI must be really really corrupt. Good to see the sheen come off their candidate already, and he's not President till December. PRD next time I think

    Jul 20th, 2012 - 07:54 am 0
  • JoseAngeldeMonterrey

    The PAN and the PRD are not completely united against the PRI, the PAN´s making some allegations, but is not asking for the elections to be nullified.
    The PRD on the other hand, is going to follow the process in the courts, but once the courts ratified Peña Nieto´s victory, they will turn their back on Lopez Obrador for good, the new leader in the left is Marcelo Ebrard and he will start planning his bid for 2018.

    Jul 20th, 2012 - 11:04 am 0
  • Marcos Alejandro

    Nothing new.

    Jul 20th, 2012 - 02:00 pm 0
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