RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said Tuesday that he supports the investigation by the Attorney General’s Office for vote buying and illegal use of resources against the two leading opposition candidates in the polls to govern the northern state of Nuevo Leon.
“Yesterday the spokespersons of conservatism were tearing their hair out because the Attorney General’s Office opened an investigation against two candidates for the Government of Nuevo Leon. I support that decision of the Prosecutor’s Office. Let him denounce it because it is an electoral crime”, said the President in his press conference at the National Palace.
The Attorney General’s Office announced on Monday night that it is investigating the candidates of Movimiento Ciudadano (MC) and the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI), Samuel García and Adrián de la Garza, both ahead in the polls of Clara Luz Flores, of López Obrador’s National Regeneration Movement (Morena).
García is accused of using resources of illicit origin for electoral purposes while De la Garza is being investigated for alleged vote buying, crimes for which he could be remanded in custody.
When the president was asked if he is behind the investigation, he answered: “How can I not be involved? Of course I am”, he said, despite the fact that the Attorney General’s Office is an independent organ of the Government.
The President recalled that in the past days, during his morning press conference, he pointed out the PRI candidate De la Garza for allegedly handing out food voucher cards in exchange for votes.
“A candidate handing out cards taking advantage of the people’s need, a covert and shameless vote buying. Let the Attorney General’s Office investigate and apply the law. Electoral fraud is a serious crime,” said López Obrador.
Regarding the complaint against Samuel García, filed by the Financial Intelligence Unit (UIF), which depends on the Government, López Obrador said that he was aware of it and that this body has the slogan that “everything that could mean a crime must be sent to the Prosecutor’s Office”.
The President, admonished by the National Electoral Institute (INE) for taking a position on the June 6 mid-term elections, said he is not worried about being sanctioned for continuing to get involved in the campaign.
“It is my obligation to denounce fraud, it is an evil that afflicts the nation, electoral fraud”, justified the president.
Although the official candidate Clara Luz Flores started as favorite in the elections of the industrialized state of Nuevo Leon, she was deflated during the campaign after her links with the Nxvium sect became known.
Both Garcia and De la Garza denounced last night a “political persecution” by the federal government.
On June 6, more than 90 million Mexicans are called to the polls to elect 500 federal deputies, 15 of 32 state governors, 30 local congresses and 1,900 city councils, in what are considered the largest elections in Mexico’s history.
At stake is the Morena party’s huge majority in Congress, which allows López Obrador to modify the Constitution.