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Mexico: PRI strikes back

Enrique Peña Nieto's Institutional Revolutionary Party, or PRI, is hitting back at rival Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, alleging he used illicit funds in his campaign.
Andres manuel lopez obrador 2012 7 9Enlarge
Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador responds to questions during a press conference in Mexico City on July 9, 2012. (AFP/Getty Images)

The party of the apparent winner of Mexico’s contested July 1 presidential election has been dogged by mounds of fraud accusations — first that it bought votes and then that it used laundered money to win.

But now, the Institutional Revolutionary Party, or PRI, is hitting back. Party officials this week have accused second-place candidate Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador of taking funds from “hidden financial network” for his campaign, CNN Mexico reports.

Allegations have flown in many directions in the wake of the Mexican elections. But Lopez Obrador (aka “AMLO,” his initials) has usually been the more vociferous accuser. He challenged the election results, alleging that illegal vote buying gave Enrique Peña Nieto an unfair victory. Then he added salt to injury, claiming those votes were bought with laundered money. AMLO will now have explaining to do.

PRI politicians say Lopez Obrador’s campaign spent 1.2 billion pesos ($88.65 million) more than was allowed the presidential campaign, Reuters reports. PRI Chairman Pedro Joaquin Coldwell suggested the rival’s campaign funds were illegally channeled from the budget of cities and states run by leftist parties backing AMLO.

CNN added that Caldwell has said Mexico’s elections commission is expected to report on Lopez Obrador’s financing on Thursday.

More from GlobalPost: Coverage of Mexico's 2012 elections

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatches/globalpost-blogs/chatter/mexico-pri-illicit-funds-lopez-obrador-elections