By E. Eduardo Castillo and Katherine Corcoran / Associated Press
Mexican voters elected their first independent gubernatorial candidate, seen as a protest against party politics, while giving the ruling party a lead in Congress, sending mixed messages in midterm elections.
President Enrique Pena Nieto’s Institutional Revolutionary Party, or PRI, lost legislative seats, according to official vote counts released Monday by the electoral institute. But a strong and controversial campaign by allied Green Party boosted that party by as many as 20 seats, which could give the ruling party a voting majority for the first time in nearly two decades.
“The PRI lost, but not very much,” said Jesus Cantu, political analyst at the Monterrey Institute of Technology.
In an election marred by sporadic violence, independent Jaime Rodriguez, known as “El Bronco,” won the governor’s race in the border state of Nuevo Leon, ousting the PRI from a key state that includes the business hub of Monterrey. His popularity was attributed to voters’ disgust with all political parties.