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Voters Punish Ruling Party in Mexico

November 12, 1996| From Reuters

TOLUCA, Mexico — President Ernesto Zedillo's party suffered big losses in local elections in three states as voters punished his government for an economic crisis and corruption scandals, incomplete results showed Monday.

Sunday's races were closely watched because they were the last major test of voter opinion before July's midterm congressional elections. Analysts say Zedillo's Institutional Revolutionary Party, or PRI, risks losing its majority in the lower house of Congress for the first time.

With about 75% of ballots counted, the PRI appeared to have lost three of the five biggest town halls in Mexico state.

Up to half of Mexico state's 122 town halls were claimed by opposition parties, and the PRI's share of the total vote slumped to just 41.96% from 58% in the last such elections in 1993.

The combined opposition tally may creep over 50% in Mexico state and Coahuila, although the PRI probably will remain the single biggest party in those states and in Hidalgo.

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