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Mexican Court Rebuffs Yucatan on Election Panel

April 08, 2001|From Associated Press

MEXICO CITY — Faced with a constitutional crisis, Mexico's Supreme Court Saturday ordered rebellious local officials to accept gubernatorial elections on terms dictated by a federal agency.

The unanimous ruling was yet another setback for Mexico's former ruling party, the Institutional Revolutionary Party, or PRI, which has been trying to rebound from the loss of the presidency in July.

The action is meant to end a conflict that left the eastern state of Yucatan with two rival electoral boards--one named by state legislators and another by a federal elections court.

The dispute started when opposition parties accused the state legislature of violating its own rules in creating a state electoral council that appeared to favor the PRI.

When the Federal Electoral Tribunal ordered the PRI-dominated state legislature to fix problems with the electoral board, lawmakers ignored it. So the tribunal named its own electoral board for the May 27 local election.

Though state PRI leaders had bowed to presidential dictates for generations, they portrayed the conflict as a states' rights issue.

PRI officials had promised that they would abide by the result of a Supreme Court decision. The court gave state officials 24 hours to turn over their building and facilities to the federally appointed board.

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