Jun 26, 2012

Mexico front-runner draws crowds, protests

Pena Nieto closed his campaign in a stadium rally this Sunday, while anti-Pena Nieto protests took place elsewhere in the capital. The pro-Pena Nieto turnout was partly attributed to busing supporters in from the state where he was governor. 

AP: With a promise to "leave behind the practices of the old politics," Mexican presidential front-runner Enrique Pena Nieto held his first and only mass rally in Mexico City, the nation's capital, on Sunday, one week ahead of the July 1 presidential elections.

Pena Nieto sought to break with the reputation of his Institutional Revolutionary Party, known as the PRI, as the sclerotic, antiquated party that governed Mexico for 71 uninterrupted years, until it lost the 2000 elections.

"I am part of a new generation that grew up under democracy," Pena Nieto told tens of thousands of cheering supporters at the Azteca soccer stadium on the city's southern edge. The 105,000-person capacity stadium appeared almost full, with only the upper ring of seats empty.

"We know how to govern democratically," Pena Nieto pledged. He added, "In this election, all of Mexico is going to win." He stressed increasing wages "so that you earn more."

However, some of the party's old practices were on display at the rally, where security was extremely tight. Read more.

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