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Et tu, Tabasco? More shady vote counts…

20 October 2006

Rene Alberto Lopez, Jornada (my translation)

Villahermosa, Tab(October 18) Reinfoced by riot police, and guarded by 17 PREP police officers, the Citizen’s Particiation and Electorial Institute (IEPC in Spanish) of this Gulf state began officially counting votes for the election of governor, municipal presidents and local deputies.

As on election day, anti-riot police from the Public Security Secretariat (SSP) surrounded the facility.

As a result of a lawsuit filed by the “Coalition for Everyone’s Benefit” (PRD-PT-Convergencia), votes for the Centro Municipio, which includes the city of Villahermosa, electoral packets from that district were opened today.

The Coaltion expects the eventual triumph of Fernando Mayans Canabal, but numbers the Preliminary Electoral Results Program (PREP) count shows Mayans trailing PRI candidate Evaristo Hernandez, by more than two thousand votes.

Mayans Canabal’s supporters congregated early this morning outside electorial headquarters demanding the vote by vote count, claiming fraud in the PREP results. Police stood by, but there were no distrurbances at the gathering.

The problem was noted when actas (precinct totals) in district 248 failed to tally with the number of votes cast. Coalition representative, Carlos Canabal Ruiz asked for that that package was opened and each vote was counted, against the wishes of the elections officials.

Candidate Mayans Canabal, who was prevented from entering the building this morning by the police, alleged that “there are more votes in our favor. We won the election, and are already demonstrating agreeing in advance that the calculations will clear away any doubts.”

In the municipalities of Cunduacán, Paradise and Centla, where PREP results gave the PRI a narrow advantage over its rivals, coalition candidates are also convinced they won.

Nidia Naranjo Cobián, candidate of the coalition, assured that she won, said “I won’t let them rob me” of my victory.

In the municipality of Jonuta, vote counts confimed that Coalition candidates did win the delegation and mayoral elections.

Juan Manuel Focil, PRD state chair, said the coalation candidates will defend their wins, and sue where the losses are extremely close.

On the other hand, PRI chair Pedro Gabriel Hidalgo, informed reporters that his party will be opposing narrow defeats in Balancán, Huimanguillo and Centla.

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