Recount Ordered in Mexico
More than half of presidential election ballots to be reopened
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 5, 2012 1:50 AM CDT
Updated Jul 5, 2012 5:26 AM CDT
Demonstrators protest outside an office of the Federal Electoral Institute in Mexico City earlier this week.   (AP Photo/Eduardo Verdugo)
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(Newser) – Enrique Peña Nieto's victory in Mexico's presidential election is looking a lot murkier than it did over the weekend. The country's election authority has ordered 78,012 ballot boxes—54.5% of the total—to be reopened and recounted. Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, who came in second by a margin of around 7%, according to preliminary results, called for a recount after charging that the vote was plagued by irregularities. Election officials say the recount is "an exercise in openness and transparency."

Peña Nieto expressed confidence that the recount will keep his victory intact, although he now faces a long legal process before he can be declared president-elect, notes the BBC. The candidate campaigned on a promise to break with his Institutional Revolutionary Party's dirty past, which includes 70 corruption-laden years in power until 2000, but there have been allegations that the PRI handed out supermarket debit cards in return for votes. "It was perhaps the biggest operation of vote-buying and coercion in the country’s history," a former election authority official tells the Washington Post. Click for one columnist's take on how the vote was a "miracle."