Saturday, 17 Nov 2018

Incoming Mexico leader blasts campaign as “act of revenge”

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) – Mexico's new president Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador on Friday condemned an electoral authority's decision to pay a $ 10 million fine for electoral fraud as an "act of revenge" against his landslide victory.

Mexican President-designate Andrés Manuel Lopez Obrador holds a press conference on July 15, 2018, at the campaign center in Mexico City, Mexico. REUTERS / Gustavo Graf

On Wednesday, the National Electoral Institute (INE) handed over the fine to Lopez Obrador's Left Movement for National Regeneration (MORENA) over a trust that the party had created last year, which the party said, to earthquake victims to help.

But the INE said MORENA was opaque about the money that came in and said that the party broke the rules.

"This is an act of revenge," Lopez Obrador said in front of the offices of his team in Mexico City, accusing the INE of being "tendentious" and overbearing.

"They behave this way because they do not accept the new reality," the 64-year-old said, drawing on the militant tone he used in the campaign to attack the government.

Since his election victory on July 1, Lopez Obrador had been much more conciliatory to the state organs.

Lopez Obrador said MORENA would fight the decision in court.

After taking office on 1 December, Lopez Obrador must be formally declared President-elect by the electoral tribunal. As a result, Lopez Obrador said he would not be attending a summit meeting of leaders of the Pacific Alliance trading bloc in the western city of Puerto Vallarta next week. However, he will meet with Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland if she and other Canadian cabinet ministers visit Mexico City on Wednesday, he said.

coverage by Noe Torres and Dave Graham; Edited by Leslie Adler

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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