Mexico's rulers face voters' anger

FROM HENRY TRICKS

of Reuters

Mexico City - Mexicans calmly went to the polls yesterday in two important state elections in which the electorate's retribution for the economic crisis is almost certain to fall on the long established ruling Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI).

In the contests for the governorships of the central states of Guanajuato and Yucatan, in south-eastern Mexico, the PRI faces a voter backlash that puts it at one of the most critical junctures in its 66 years in power.

Opinion polls suggest that in Guanajuato the opposition National Action Party (PAN) may inflict on the PRI the biggest defeat in any state election in its history, reflecting anger at the worsening economic recession as well as a groundswell of support for the outspoken PAN candidate, Vicente Fox.

Mr Fox, a Harvard-educated farmer with his eye on the Presidency, has attacked President Ernesto Zedillo and the PRI for the crisis that has sent farms and businesses into bankruptcy and living standards plummeting in this agricultural heartland as well as in other parts of Mexico.

Only four of Mexico's 32 states have ever been lost by the ruling party and a major reverse in Guanajuato would be a blow to Mr Zedillo, who helped to trigger the crisis by devaluing the peso shortly after taking office in December.

In Yucatan, the PRI hopes to salvage some credibility, with opinion polls putting it clearly ahead of the PAN. The Mayan Indian peasants, whose vote for the PRI is virtually a tradition, may be crucial.But charges of vote-buying and other dirty tricks by PRI's candidate and old-style party boss, Victor Cervera Pacheco, have clouded the run-up to the elections. The PRI denies the allegations but any suspicion of irregularities could harm the party's image in the state.

PAN federal deputies travelled to Yucatan this weekend to help to monitor the vote. The party's leaders have warned that any fraud could badly compromise the all-party talks on democratic reforms.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Ashdown Group: Client Accountant Team Manager - Reading

Negotiable: Ashdown Group: The Ashdown Group has been engaged by a highly resp...

Recruitment Genius: Account Manager

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: You will also work alongside their seasoned sa...

Recruitment Genius: Assistant Property Manager

£15000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Are you looking for your first step into...

Recruitment Genius: Mechanical Design Engineer

£25000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This innovative company working...

Day In a Page

General Election 2015: The masterminds behind the scenes

The masterminds behind the election

How do you get your party leader to embrace a message and then stick to it? By employing these people
Machine Gun America: The amusement park where teenagers go to shoot a huge range of automatic weapons

Machine Gun America

The amusement park where teenagers go to shoot a huge range of automatic weapons
The ethics of pet food: Why are we are so selective in how we show animals our love?

The ethics of pet food

Why are we are so selective in how we show animals our love?
How Tansy Davies turned 9/11 into her opera 'Between Worlds'

How a composer turned 9/11 into her opera 'Between Worlds'

Tansy Davies makes her operatic debut with a work about the attack on the Twin Towers. Despite the topic, she says it is a life-affirming piece
11 best bedside tables

11 best bedside tables

It could be the first thing you see in the morning, so make it work for you. We find night stands, tables and cabinets to wake up to
Italy vs England player ratings: Did Andros Townsend's goal see him beat Harry Kane and Wayne Rooney to top marks?

Italy vs England player ratings

Did Townsend's goal see him beat Kane and Rooney to top marks?
Danny Higginbotham: An underdog's tale of making the most of it

An underdog's tale of making the most of it

Danny Higginbotham on being let go by Manchester United, annoying Gordon Strachan, utilising his talents to the full at Stoke and plunging into the world of analysis
Audley Harrison's abusers forget the debt he's due, but Errol Christie will always remember what he owes the police

Steve Bunce: Inside Boxing

Audley Harrison's abusers forget the debt he's due, but Errol Christie will always remember what he owes the police
No postcode? No vote

Floating voters

How living on a houseboat meant I didn't officially 'exist'
Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin

By Reason of Insanity

Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin
Power dressing is back – but no shoulderpads!

Power dressing is back

But banish all thoughts of Eighties shoulderpads
Spanish stone-age cave paintings 'under threat' after being re-opened to the public

Spanish stone-age cave paintings in Altamira 'under threat'

Caves were re-opened to the public
'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'

Vince Cable interview

'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'
Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat