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Mexican opposition blasts PRI as vote-buying accusations mar election

Originally posted on National Post | News:

MEXICO CITY — Thousands of people rushed to stores to redeem pre-paid gift cards they said were given to them by the party that won Mexico’s presidency, inflaming accusations that the weekend election was marred by widespread vote-buying.

Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, who leads a leftist coalition and came second in the election, has demanded a recount and alleged massive fraud, accusing the winning party, Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI), of distributing gift cards worth $5.2-million to buy votes.

“This is a scandal…. They bought millions of votes,” Mr. Lopez Obrador said at a news conference, referring to the PRI. “This is a national embarrassment.”

Mexico’s election officials on Wednesday were recounting votes from more than half the polling booths in Sunday’s presidential and congressional elections, responding to claims of fraud and requests for recounts in areas where the race was tight.

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But officials with the Federal Electoral Institute (IFE)…

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