Election protesters in Oaxaca city. Election protesters in Oaxaca city.

Electoral unrest as elections invalidated

Protests could turn violent in 20 municipalities in Oaxaca

Voters have been to the polls this month in 417 of Oaxaca’s 570 municipalities but not everyone is pleased with the results.

While the new administrations are to take office on Sunday, in some cases the state electoral authority may have to intervene and designate administrators.

Voting took place according to ancestral indigenous customs and traditions, known in electoral and political parlance as usos y costumbres.

As of today the state electoral institute, IEEPCO, had validated 356 elections but declared 20 others invalid. Representatives of political parties on the IEEPCO board warned the situation could turn violent in those 20 municipalities.

The institute rules elections invalid when the participation of all inhabitants has not been guaranteed, or when they have not been allowed to fully exercise their electoral rights.

If the situation cannot be resolved at the municipal level, the state government must then intervene and appoint a municipal administrator.

That seems likely to happen as citizens of several municipalities took to the streets this week in protest and mounted blockades of highways and government buildings.

People in San Carlos Yautepec protested yesterday for close to eight hours by blocking two highways, including federal highway 190, which connects the city of Oaxaca to the Isthmus region.

The protesters demanded that authorities annul the election of Salomón Pérez, whom they charge was aided by a relative in the state administration.

They also blamed the state electoral authority for creating violence and unrest in several municipalities, warning that if conditions were to persist there could be further violence on Sunday.

The highway 190 blockade was set up again this morning on the outskirts of the capital city.

In that city yesterday, inhabitants of the adjoining municipality of San Raymundo Jalpan protested outside the IEEPCO offices, throwing eggs at the building and demanding the invalidation of their elections.

Source: El Universal (sp)

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