IN BRIEF: Mexican reform pact

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Mexico City - President Ernesto Zedillo and Mexico's political parties were to sign a reform pact yesterday aimed at ending decades of disputes over rigged elections, and limiting the fall-out of a deep economic crisis.

The pact sets the stage for an overhaul of Mexico's electoral authorities, making them independent from the government and cutting the influence of the long-ruling Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI). Mr Zedillo has gone further than any of his predecessors in cleaning up a system which leftist opponents say maintains the PRI grip on power. The need for reform has become more urgent as a result of the deep economic crisis sparked by last month's devaluation of the national currency. Reuter