Tue | Sep 26, 2017

Election tests ruling party in Mexico's most populous state

Published:Monday | June 5, 2017 | 6:00 AM

MEXICO CITY (AP):

Voters in Mexico's most populous state on Sunday could hand the ruling party a much-needed boost ahead of next year's presidential elections or a potentially devastating blow by throwing off its uninterrupted 88-years local rule.

Voting centres opened in the morning amid complaints that some voters had received intimidating telephone calls warning them not to cast ballots and reports of bloody pig heads being left outside opposition party offices.

Polls gave the ruling Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) of President Enrique Pena Nieto a slight edge in the closing days of the Mexico State campaign, but the result will largely depend on which party can get its backers to vote and the possibility of party switching by voters whose priority is preventing a PRI victory.

 

FED UP

 

Some, like shopkeeper Ruben Sanchez Mendoza, 47, were fed up with almost 90 years of uninterrupted rule by the PRI. Sanchez Mendoza said he voted for Delfina Gomez, the candidate of the leftist Morena party.

"We are tired of so much corruption, corrupt politicians, corrupt police," said Sanchez Mendoza. "The truth is, without a change, I don't see a future for ourselves or our children."

At a polling station nearby, 65-year-old retiree Maria Concepcion Sanchez Morales, 65, said she was voting for the PRI, despite claims by Morena that the ruling party gave away "rotten beans" to buy votes.

"They say they give out rotten beans, but at least they give out beans," said Sanchez Morales. "Let's not lie: all the benefit programmes come from the PRI."

But both residents of the sprawling suburb of Ecatepec agreed that crime in the form of widespread robberies in the street and aboard public buses was the most pressing issue.