MEXICO CITY – The Institutional Revolutionary Party, or PRI, appears to be the winner of nine of the 12 governorships up for grabs in Mexico over the weekend, but a coalition of conservatives and leftists may have stripped the party of power in Oaxaca, Puebla and Sinaloa states after 80 years, the Preliminary Electoral Results Program, or PREP, shows Monday.
The PRI has broad leads in Chihuahua, Quintana Roo, Tamaulipas, Tlaxcala and Zacatecas states.
In Aguascalientes, the PRI has 49 percent of the vote to 44 percent for the controversial alliance between the conservative National Action Party, or PAN, and the leftist Party of the Democratic Revolution, or PRD, with 92 percent of the ballots counted.
The gubernatorial races are also tight in Durango, where the PRI garnered 49 percent of the vote to the PAN-PRD’s 46 percent; Hidalgo, where the PRI has a lead of 53 percent to 47 percent over the PAN-PRD; Sinaloa, which is going 52 percent for the PAN-PRD to the PRI’s 48 percent; and Veracruz, where the PRI is leading by a 45 percent to 40 percent margin.
The PAN-PRD alliance is winning in Oaxaca with a comfortable 53 percent to 45 percent margin and in Puebla by a 53 percent to 41 percent margin.
All PREP results are as of 7:50 a.m., with more than 90 percent of the ballots counted in most states, election officials said.
The parties, however, have not accepted the results in many states, while all the parties have claimed victory in some states.
The PRI appears, based on the preliminary results, to have retained power in six states, including Tamaulipas, which has been plagued by drug-related violence and was the scene last Monday of the killings of the party’s gubernatorial candidate, Rodolfo Torre Cantu, and four other people.
Torre Cantu was the standard-bearer of the Todos Tamaulipas (We Are All Tamaulipas) coalition made up of the PRI, the Green Party and the New Alliance Party.
The slain candidate’s brother, Egidio, was selected to replace him in the gubernatorial race.
The PRI took the governorships of Aguascalientes and Tlaxcala from the PAN, and it grabbed the Zacatecas governorship from the PRD.
The vote count is continuing and is expected to be concluded Monday afternoon.
The alliance between the PAN and the PRD appears to have come out the winner in three states and to have lost in two others.
The two parties lost in Aguascalientes, Chihuahua, Quintana Roo, Tamaulipas, Tlaxcala and Veracruz, all states where they did not compete together.
The PRI currently governs 19 of Mexico’s 32 states and will remain in this position after the elections, having grabbed three governorships from its rivals, lost three and held on to six.
The states that held elections on Sunday have accounted for 60 percent of the more than 5,000 drug-related killings registered so far this year in Mexico, as well as 37 percent of the country’s population, the Excelsior newspaper reported Sunday.
The state elections are considered key in preparing for the 2012 presidential election. EFE