MEXICO CITY (AP) — During Mexico’s presidential election last year, the leftist candidate furiously complained that while he flew economy class his rival from the former ruling party campaigned in private planes, appeared constantly on television and was dramatically overspending campaign limits.
Enrique Pena Nieto of the Institutional Revolutionary Party won the vote over leftist Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, and election authorities began an investigation into allegations of campaign spending violations.
Now, six months later, the electoral body says it has indeed found evidence of violations: by Lopez Obrador, not Pena Nieto.
The finding, which will be voted on by the commissioners of the Federal Electoral Institute on Wednesday, provoked outrage from Lopez Obrador, his backers and some independent observers who charged that a body once seen as a pillar of Mexico’s young democracy is allowing itself to be coopted by Pena Nieto’s party.
“So now it turns out that Mr. Pena, who moved around in private planes, in private helicopters, while I was driving on the highways or on commercial flights, now it turns out that Mr. Pena was a victim,” Lopez Obrador told MVS Radio on Tuesday.
The spending limit for the 2012 presidential campaign was 336.1 million pesos ($26.3 million) and the probe found that the three parties backing Lopez Obrador had spent 370.5 million pesos ($29 million). It found Pena Nieto’s campaign spent 241.8 million pesos ($18.9 million) and Josefina Vazquez Mota of the conservative National Action Party, or PAN, spent 209.1 million pesos ($16.4 million).
The findings are based on the party’s own reports, documents which have not been made public.
Lopez Obrador said the electoral institute sought “to place me on the same level as Pena Nieto, as if we were as corrupt as Pena Nieto.” He said his campaign had spent only 230 million pesos, under the campaign limit.
But the electoral institute said the leftist coalition claimed it had spent 286.2 million pesos, while documentation the parties provided showed they spent 370.5 million.
It isn’t surprising that Lopez Obrador’s campaign, run mainly by his Democratic Revolution Party, or PRD, broke campaign limits, said political analyst Jose Antonio Crespo, of the Center for Economic Research and Teaching in Mexico City,
“But it isn’t credible to me that the PRI was topped by the PRD and that it didn’t exceed campaign limits itself,” he said.
There was no immediate reaction from Pena Nieto’s PRI to the ruling.
The electoral institute found last week that the PRI had not engaged in illegal campaign financing, as alleged by PRD and PAN officials.
More Related Stories
- Pa. governor "can't find" any Latinos to work in his administration
- London machete attack could be linked to terrorism
- Conservative group blames military sexual assault on "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" repeal
- Lois Lerner, IRS disaster
- Donald Rumsfeld worried that marriage equality will lead to polygamy
- Experts: Fox News spying scandal a game-changer
- San Francisco Giant Jeremy Affeldt apologizes for homophobic past
- 9-year-old slams Rahm over Chicago schools
- Stockholm riots rage for third day
- Wall Street firm's "Golden Pitchbook" is totally sexist, full of lies
- Must-see morning clip: Toronto's eccentric and allegedly crack-smoking mayor
- Federal court strikes down Arizona abortion ban
- Jodi Arias: I deserve a second chance
- Oklahoma residents return home to pick up the pieces
- Florida man with connection to Tsarnaev killed by FBI
- FBI identifies 5 Benghazi suspects
- Here come the tornado truthers. Already
- Peace Corps to allow gay couples to volunteer together
- Moore officials: Funds for "safe rooms" were held up by red tape
- Rand Paul: Congress should apologize to Apple, not the other way around
- Rescue crews race to find tornado survivors
Featured Slide Shows
The week in 10 picsclose X
- 1 of 11
Lisa Montgomery embraces her nephew Thursday after a tornado tore apart her home in Cleburne, Texas. The twister killed six people and destroyed entire swaths of the North Texas town.
Credit: AP/LM Otero
Jack McMahon, the defense attorney for abortion doctor Kermit Gosnell, speaks outside the Criminal Justice Center in Philadelphia Tuesday. His client was convicted of killing three babies in his clinic, and will serve multiple life sentences.
Credit: AP/Matt Rourke
A photo taken Monday captures Vice President Joe Biden's response to a Milwaukee second-grader's innovative proposal to end America's epidemic of gun violence. This guy!
Credit: AP/Jenny Aicher
Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., flanked by a grouper-eyed Michele Bachmann, addresses the IRS' admission that it targeted Tea Party groups in advance of the 2012 election. In an op-ed for CNN Thursday, the Kentucky senator slammed the president for his faux outrage.
Credit: AP/Molly Riley
Ousted IRS chief Steven Miller is sworn in on Capitol Hill Friday. Miller testified before the House Ways and Means Committee on the extra scrutiny the agency gave conservative groups applying for tax-exempt status.
Credit: AP/J. Scott Applewhite
Attorney General Eric Holder pauses as he testifies on Capitol Hill before the House Judiciary Committee Wednesday. Holder is under fire, among other things, for the Justice Department's gathering of phone records at the Associated Press.
Credit: AP/Carolyn Kaster
O.J. Simpson sits during an evidentiary hearing at Clark County District Court in Las Vegas, Nev., Thursday. Simpson, who is currently serving a nine-to-33-year sentence in state prison for armed robbery and kidnapping, is using a writ of habeas corpus to seek a new trial.
Credit: AP/Las Vegas Review-Journal/Jeff Scheid
Major Tom to ground control: On Sunday astronaut Chris Hadfield recorded the first music video from space, a cover of David Bowie's "Space Oddity."
Credit: AP/NASA/Chris Hadfield
When it rains it pours. President Barack Obama speaks during a news conference Thursday with Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, inexplicably inspiring an #umbrellagate Twitter meme.
Credit: AP/Jacquelyn Martin
A smoke plume rises high above a road block at the intersection of County A and Ross Road east of Solon Springs, Wis., Tuesday. No injuries were reported, but the the wildfire caused evacuations across northwestern Wisconsin.
Credit: AP/The Duluth News-Tribune/Clint Austin
Recent Slide Shows
- 1 of 11