Saturday, June 15, 2024

Xóchitl Gálvez and PAN leader say they will challenge ‘state election’

Losing presidential candidate Xóchitl Gálvez and National Action Party (PAN) leader Marko Cortés have announced that the opposition will file challenges against what they believe was an unfair presidential election in Mexico, in which President Andrés Manuel López Obrador intervened and “the entire state apparatus” was used to favor Claudia Sheinbaum.

Sheinbaum, candidate for the ruling Morena party, easily won the presidential election, attracting 59% of the vote to beat Gálvez by more than 30 points, according to results announced by the National Electoral Institute (INE).

Xóchitl Gálvez at a polling station
Candidate Xóchitl Gálvez at a polling station after voting on Sunday. (Cuartoscuro)

Morena and its allies also won big majorities in both houses of federal Congress.

Gálvez, who represented an opposition bloc made up of the PAN, the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) and the Democratic Revolution Party (PRD), said in a social media post on Monday that she was aware that there was “a lot of confusion” and “many doubts” about the results of the presidential election.

However, she noted that she had acknowledged her defeat “because I’m a democrat and I believe in the institutions.”

“I trust INE’s quick count, it’s a statistical exercise devised by the country’s best data scientists. I know that the results surprise us and that’s why we must analyze what happened. We all knew we faced an unequal competition against the entire state apparatus dedicated to favoring its candidate,” Gálvez wrote without offering specific examples about how the government allegedly helped Sheinbaum.

Marko Cortés, leader of the PAN
Marko Cortés, leader of the PAN, has questioned the legitimacy of the presidential election results. (Marko Cortés/X)

She subsequently noted that organized crime groups made a violent intervention in the electoral process, “threatening and even murdering dozens of aspirants and candidates.”

“This doesn’t end here,” Gálvez declared.

“We will present the challenges that prove what I am telling you and what we all know. And we’ll do it because we can’t allow another election like this one. Today more than ever we must defend our democracy and our republic,” she wrote.

“The counterbalances and the division of powers remain at risk. … We’re the resistance and we must do what we have to do: defend Mexico from authoritarianism and bad government,” Gálvez added.

Cortés decries “enormous inequity” in the election

PAN national president Marko Cortés said Tuesday that the party he leads would launch a challenge against what he described as a “state election in which the president directly intervened.”

He asserted that López Obrador repeatedly violated the constitution and electoral laws during the electoral period and spent large amounts of public money to favor Claudia Sheinbaum and Morena.

“All this created enormous inequity in the contest,” Cortés said, according to a statement released by the PAN.

Marko Cortés and Xóchitl Gálvez
PAN leader Marko Cortés with Xóchitl Gálvez at a campaign event in Nuevo Laredo last month. (Marko Cortés/X)

The party leader said that the PAN would “continue defending our country” from both houses of federal Congress and the states it governs. Cortés also said the PAN would “defend every vote” cast for Gálvez and the party’s other candidates.

“We acknowledge that the [electoral] results … don’t favor us, but we also point out that the election was not clean nor legitimate, that it was never a level playing field,” he said.

Cortés also expressed regret over the opposition’s failure to convince the majority of Mexicans of “the enormous authoritarian risk we face.”

“… We were surprised that the social enthusiasm [for the opposition alliance] felt in the streets wasn’t reflected at the ballot boxes,” he said.

“It’s very concerning because … the votes favor an authoritarian model that seeks to override democracy and the balance of powers,” Cortés said in reference to López Obrador’s proposals to overhaul the judicial system and eliminate numerous autonomous government agencies.

“We are democrats and we will always recognize the will of the majority when its truly legitimate … [but] we can’t stop denouncing and challenging when the constitution and the electoral law were repeatedly violated,” he added.

AMLO: Sunday’s election was “the cleanest” in history 

Asked at his Tuesday morning press conference about the opposition’s announcement that it would challenge the election, President López Obrador said that the government’s opponents, including Cortés, were within their rights to do so.

However, he asserted that they had nothing to complain about.

“The election on Sunday was the cleanest and freest that has existed in history,” López Obrador said before revising his remarks.

Andrés Manuel López Obrador at his morning press conference
President López Obrador dismissed the opposition’s concerns about the legitimacy of the election, but said they’re within their rights to challenge. (Cuartoscuro)

The election was the cleanest “possibly since” Francisco I. Madero was elected as Mexico’s president in 1911, claimed AMLO, who last year was ordered by the INE to abstain from speaking about electoral issues after Gálvez complained about remarks he made about her.

López Obrador said that the PAN and the other opposition parties need to “breathe deeply, undertake a serious reflection and try to understand what happened” on Sunday.

“… Self-criticism is very important, it’s very important to know how to improve,” said AMLO, who lost the 2006 and 2012 presidential elections as a PRD candidate before winning with Morena in 2018.

“Wise people change their minds,” he added.

Mexico News Daily 

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