Mexico City: Enraged by claims that illicit money was used to garner votes in recently-concluded Presidential poll, tens of thousands of Mexicans took to streets to protest against Enrique Pena Nieto`s victory on Sunday.
Pena Nieto`s Institutional Revolutionary Party, which has been ruling Mexico for 71 consecutive years in past, is accused of doling out money and other gifts and perks in exchange of votes in wake of July 1 national elections.
The protest march that reached central Zocalo plaza comprised of at least 50, 000 people, officials said.
The protesting crowd constituted of students, unionists and leftists carrying anti- Pena Nieto posters that read, "Pena, how much did it cost to become president?" and "Mexico, you pawned your future for 500 pesos."
Protesters also carried signs in English, Japanese, French, German and other languages to call the attention of the international press.
Earlier on Saturday, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, who secured second spot in the election also accused PRI to have indulged in vote buying and vowed to file a formal legal challenge to the vote count in a court.
The official count in the election showed that former ruling party candidate Peña Nieto won by a 6.6 percentage-point margin, almost exactly the same lead as a vote-night quick count gave him.
Pena Nieto, a youthful, 45-year-old married to a soap opera star, won last Sunday`s election, bringing the PRI back to power after 12 years in opposition.
The party had ruled Mexico for long with what critics say was the help of corruption, patronage and vote fraud.
PRI officials deny the vote-buying charge and say the vote was free and fair.
The final vote count had Pena Nieto getting 38.21 percent support, leftist Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador of the Democratic Revolution Party with 31.59 percent, and Josefina Vazquez Mota of the conservative National Action Party with 25.41. The small New Alliance Party got 2.29 percent.
The final vote count must be certified in September by the Federal Electoral Tribunal. The tribunal has declined to overturn previously contested elections, including a 2006 presidential vote that was far closer than last Sunday`s.
Accusations of vote-buying began surfacing in June, but sharpened later when people rushed to grocery stores on the outskirts of Mexico City to redeem pre-paid gift cards worth about 100 pesos ($7.50). Many said they got the cards from PRI supporters before the elections.
With Agency Inputs