Saturday, June 13, 2015

Today's Mexico City Headlines: The course of coverage of Mexican elections starts with trouble at the voting stations and works its way to trouble in the counting room. In between, there are results.

Catching up on the week, the progression of top front-page election headlines in La Jornada provide a useful summary of post-election-day coverage. Sunday’s online updates were all about troubles at the voting booths, since there was nothing else to cover. They were serious — polling stations burning down is news — but not nearly as widespread as the daylong focus seemed to indicate.
    Then came the news, day by day. 
    Monday morning: “In Nuevo León, the winner would be the independent El Bronco.” That conditional tense (sería in the original, instead of es or será) recognizes how early the returns were, but Jaime Rodríguez’s historic win in the governor’s race was so overwhelming that he got the glory headlines before anybody else. He's the first independent to win a major public office in modern Mexican history.
    Tuesday morning: “PRD and Morena tie in the DF Assembly.” It looked at the time that the two left-of-center parties would each win 16 of the 40 directly elected seats on Mexico City’s 66-member legislative body. If that result had stood up, it would have marked an impressive debut for Andrés Manuel López Obrador’s nascent Morena party. But the next day . . .
    Wednesday morning: “Morena the top political force in the DF Assembly.” The updated results were more than impressive. "Staggering" might be the word. They gave Morena 18, the PRD 14, the PAN five and the PRI three. For Morena, it was 0 to plurality in one election. For the PRD, it was the end of its majority.
    Thursday morning: “INE will recount the votes in 60% of the precincts.” This recounting by the National Electoral Institute was for accuracy. It sounds like a lot at 60%, but it was 56% in 2012. This head takes us to the next stage of the usual election coverage sequence, which starts with election-day logistics, then preliminary results, then more solid results, then technical glitches, which continued, in La Jornada at least, the next day . . .
    Friday morning: “INE vote count provoking chaos in the election figures.” Part of that “chaos” (a favorite hyperbolic expression that all the papers like to use) had to do with INE figures that gave results with “100.62%” of the vote counted. After glitch coverage comes the next stage  . . . the challenges.
   This morning: “Morena demands annulled elections or recounts in six delegations.” Morena also nabbed more Mexico City delegaciones, or boroughs, than the PRD, but it wants more. The party is claiming that irregularities in the borough chief vote in six of the boroughs that it didn’t win are serious enough to annul those boroughs' election or at least require a vote-by-vote recount. It may sound like Morena is acting like a sore winner, but these challenges are a permitted part of the process that all the major parties resort to at one time or another — though AMLO is the undisputed king of the impugnaciones.

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