Mexico held midterm elections on Sunday, June 6. They were labeled as “the largest in the history of Mexico” in terms of the number of voters who were invited to participate, and by the number of seats for which elections were held. Mexico has more than 90 million registered voters, who went to the polls to elect 500 deputies, 15 state governors, and more than 20,000 local political offices including mayors and councilors.
According to the preliminary results of the quick vote count published on Sunday night by the National Electoral Institute (INE), the coalition formed by the ruling party National Regeneration Movement (MORENA) and allies, the Workers’ Party and the Ecological Green Party, obtained 41.8% of the votes in the Chamber of Deputies, while the opposition bloc formed by the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI), the National Action Party (PAN), and the Democratic Revolutionary Party (PRD) won 41.5% of the votes.
Conteo rápido posiciona al partido Morena como la mayor fuerza política en la Cámara de Diputados: obtiene el 35% de los votos y alrededor de 200 curules. pic.twitter.com/wHwWJnteJj
— MV (@Mision_Verdad) June 7, 2021
According to the quick count, the MORENA party obtained the most seats in Congress (between 190 and 203 deputies) followed by the conservative opposition PAN party (between 106 and 117 deputies).
The trend was solidified in subsequent hours: with 72% of the votes counted MORENA had obtained 39.5% of the votes, and 42.4% together with its allies, while the opposition coalition had obtained 40.2%.
Under Mexican electoral law, 300 seats of the 500 members of parliament are elected by majority vote, and 200 by the proportional representation system of the parties. Before the current midterm elections, the MORENA party and its political allies held more than two-thirds of the Senate seats. Continuing with that distribution was the goal that the pro-government coalition had set itself to carry out more constitutional reforms, which President Andrés Manuel López Obrador calls “the fourth transformation.”
The exact results, including those for the 15 governorates, will be announced to the public on June 12.
Despite exit poll numbers suggesting a decrease in MORENA’s presence in parliament, the progressive coalition formed with the Labor Party and the Ecological Green Party retained a majority in Congress.
First national elections since the pandemic
The voting procedure advanced in relative normality, although some polling stations experienced delays for security reasons.
The Mexican health authorities required all voters participating in the elections to wear masks and maintain a safe distance of 1.5 meters. A maximum of two voters were allowed at each electoral polling station at one time.
The election was not spared the violence that has marked elections in Mexico in recent history. For example, in the state of Baja California [in Tijuana] following the opening of polling station number 1440, a subject left a cardboard box on the table where the voting boxes were and fled. Upon inspection, a severed human head was discovered in the box.
Half an hour later, bags containing human remains, including a severed head, were deposited at electoral college 1431 in the same city.
• In the state of Mexico, unknown persons broke into booth 5491 and destroyed the furniture, fired shots and stole the electoral ballots.
• In San Luis Potosí, a polling place was the scene of an armed attack. The San Luis Potosí Special Prosecutor for Electoral Crimes has already started an investigation.
• In Puebla, the president of the regional electoral body, Miguel Ángel García, reported that there were detonations at polls located in the municipalities of Coronango and Ocoyucan.
Since the campaign began, at least 35 candidates have been assassinated and more than 100 threatened with death. President López Obrador accused criminal groups of trying to influence the outcome of the elections by intimidating voters. He also criticized some media outlets for destabilizing the electoral environment.
Featured image: President Andrés Manuel López Obrador after voting in Mexico’s midterm elections. (Photo: EFE).
(Misión Verdad) with Orinoco Tribune content
Translation: Orinoco Tribune