Chiapas: abstentionism and blank votes “win” in midterm elections

Elecciones intermedias 2015, San Cristóbal de Las Casas, Chiapas (@SIPAZ)

Midterm elections 2015 San Cristóbal de Las Casas, Chiapas (@SIPAZ)

On June 7, together with the rest of the country, federal congressional elections took place in Chiapas. The environment in the days running up to the elections was marked by tensions resulting from the violent protests that members of the National Coordination of Educational Workers (CNTE) had been carrying out since the beginning of June in the capital city of Tuxtla Gutiérrez, together with its announcement of their boycott of the elections. To guarantee that elections be held, the Secretary of Governance announced on June 6 the deployment of federal forces in Chiapas, Oaxaca, Guerrero, and Michoacán. In the specific case of Chiapas, reports indicated at least 18,000 soldiers and federal police arrived.

At the end of the day, the General Secretary for Governance, Juan Carlos Gómez Aranda, stressed that the elections had taken place under normal conditions in Chiapas, though he recognizes that some “incidents” had been seen, though according to him, these neither threatened the elections nor the social stability of the state.

Within these “incidents,” not all the voting booths could be installed, and 35 ballots and electoral documents were burned in Ocosingo, Chilón, Venustiano Carranza, Comitán, Salto de Agua, Chiapa de Corzo, Huehuetán, and Tuxtla. The CNTE has distanced itself from these actions.

92% of the reporting results suggested the following outcomes: 46.5% of the eligible population abstained, while 5.8% submitted blank votes. This implies that at least half declared themselves for one candidate or another.

The rest of the voting gave a clear victory to the alliance between the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) and the Green Ecologist Party of Mexico (PVEM), whose candidates triumphed in the 12 districts comprising the state, obtaining 69.4% of the voters. In net terms, the PVEM consolidated itself as the primary political force, after it received 45.6% of the votes. MORENA took third place, with approximately 6% in favor.

It should be recalled that, in the case of Chiapas, there will be new elections on July 19 for local congressional positions (24 legislators by majority vote and 17 by proportion) and 122 mayorships.

For more information (in Spanish):

La coalición PRI-Partido Verde arrasa en las elecciones de Chiapas (CNN México, 8 de junio de 2015)

Gana el abstencionismo en Chiapas (Chiapas Paralelo, 8 de junio de 2015)

Detienen a campesinos en Chiapas por quema de material electoral (Proceso, 7 de junio de 2015)

Con tranquilidad concluye jornada electoral en Chiapas (Excelsior, 7 de junio de 2015)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas/National: Occupation of gas stations and burning of electoral offices during CNTE protests in Tuxtla Gutiérrez (10 June 2015)

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