Enraged protesters gathered in the capital of Mexico following a court decision to disregard a challenge to Enrique Pena Nieto’s presidency. The newly-elected president was accused of money laundering and buying votes.
Hundreds of angry activists hurled stones, eggs and bottles at the police and the court building, and shouted slogans calling for a revolution. They brandished banners, saying “we demand this dirty election to be overturned,” and “Pena is not our president.”
The protesters knocked down metal barriers that had been erected around the court and brawled with the riot police who had assembled there.
Presidential election runner-up Andres Manuel Obrador accused Nieto and his Institutional Revolutionary Party of buying five million votes and courting voters with presents of supermarket gift cards, fertilizer, cement and livestock.
The electoral tribunal dismissed the claims on the basis there was not sufficient evidence to overturn the vote.
“After an examination of the evidence, we can confirm that constitutional principles were observed during the election,” tribunal member Salvador Nava said.
The Tribunal’s verdict sparked outrage among opposition activists, with Ricardo Monreal, a campaign coordinator for a leftist coalition, condemning the decision as “the verbal diarrhea of men who are paid millions of pesos and don’t work for the interests of the people.”
“They are fraudsters in the guise of learned men who are going to bury our constitution and become the vilest band of hucksters in the history of our country’s democracy,” Monreal said.
Pena Nieto won the Mexican election on July 1 by roughly 3.3 million votes, rejecting Obrador’s claims of fraud. Nieto’s victory sparked mass protests in Mexico City and calls for a recount.
Nieto will assume the Mexican presidency on December 1. His government has promised greater political transparency, and to modernize the country’s antiquated labor laws in an attempt to revitalize the Mexican economy.