A hotly contested state election in Mexico is heading to court after the president’s cousin was declared the victor amid widespread allegations of voter intimidation, vote buying and misuse of public resources. Alfredo del Mazo Maza, the candidate for the Institutional Revolutionary party (PRI), was declared the winner after early results in the state of Mexico gave him a two-point lead over Delfina Gómez of the leftwing National Regeneration party (Morena). But with the vote so close, Morena – led by the populist firebrand Andres Manuel López Obrador– is refusing to accept the initial results. The full count will not be completed before 7 June, after which Morena will almost certainly seek that the election be annulled.
The PRI has governed the state (known as Edomex) for almost 90 years, and the vote was seen as a key indicator for next year’s presidential election.
Both parties simultaneously claimed victory shortly after polling stations closed on Sunday night, and the stage is set for another messy court battle over coming weeks.
The outcome will depend on whether other parties join forces with Morena to contest the results, or negotiate with PRI in order to limit the gains of López Obrador, who has emerged as an early favourite in presidential race.