Voters in Mexico have chosen to bring the country’s once dominant political party back into power by electing Enrique Pena Nieto as their next president.
With 98 percent of the votes counted, Pena Nieto has 38 percent while former Mexico City Mayor Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador has 31 percent.
Who is Enrique Peña Nieto?
A member of the Institutional Revolutionary Party (Partido Revolucionario Institucional, PRI) since 1984
Drew national attention as governor of the State of Mexico from 2005 to 2011
Built his reputation by making “pledges” to the State of Mexico, focusing on public works and infrastructure improvement
Ranked among country’s most handsome politicians
Married Televisa soap star Angelica Rivera in 2010
Admitted that he had affairs and fathered two children during his first marriage to Monica Pretelini Saenz
Lopez Obrador calls the results fraudulent and something no one can accept. His left-wing party will decide whether to formally challenge the results after all votes are counted.
U.S. President Barack Obama called Pena Nieto to congratulate him and offer U.S. support in meeting mutual goals.
Pena Nieto told supporters that Mexicans have voted for a change in direction, but he vowed to keep pressure on drug cartels.
“The fight against crime will continue with a new strategy to reduce violence and protect the lives of Mexicans,” he said. “Let it be clear, with organized crime there will be no pacts or truce.”
Pena Nieto’s conservative Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) ruled Mexico for 71 years until 2000, when voters elected National Action Party (PAN) candidate Vicente Fox. Outgoing President Felipe Calderon also represents PAN. His administration has been plagued by economic stagnation and rampant drug violence.
Mr. Calderon deployed the military to fight the drug cartels shortly after he took office in 2006. More than 50,000 people have been killed.
The PAN candidate in this year’s election, Josefina Vazquez Mota, finished third in the voting.