The election of Enrique Peña Nieto, Mexico’s young, debonair politician and leader of the country’s much-maligned Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI), was met with mixed reaction Monday, with local legacy media organizations and ordinary citizens weighing in on his victory.
Headlines across many Mexican newspapers employed the word “return” to typify Nieto’s victory, a clever nod to the crony politicking mastered by PRI that plagued Mexico for decades. It was that same politicking that lead to the ouster of PRI 12 years ago, ending more than 70 years of rule under a succession of names.
Nieto was quick to dismiss these concerns in his acceptance speech, asserting his party’s newfound commitment to the democratic process and a clean break from the past.
“We are a new generation,” Nieto said in his speech, according to a transcript published by El Universal, a major Mexican newspaper headquartered in Mexico City. “There is no return to the past.”
El Universal’s editorial board opted to look at the silver lining of Nieto’s victory in an op-ed published Monday.
“In sum, almost nothing escapes public scrutiny,” the paper’s editorial board wrote, adding that the election was successful in its transparency, and “good news in the fight against impunity.”
While Nieto’s optimism has carried him through much of his historic campaign, his critics have voiced their opinions across social media.
Following Nieto’s victory, thousands of people took to Twitter, making Mexico’s elections a worldwide trending topic.
Miguel Murillo alluded to PRI corruption-laden past when interpreting the results of Sunday's election:
Money can't buy you happiness, but it can sure buy you a presidential election. #Mexico Elecciones 2012 #fraude2012#MiVoto2012
Others recalled the irony in democratically electing PRI:
So there you go. It takes 12 years to forget 71#Elecciones2012
ThinkMexican, along with other users, echoed accusations of voter fraud in Sunday’s election, despite positive reports by Mexico’s Federal Electoral Institude, which oversaw the election.
#IFE director says no major incidents in today's election. That's absurd. 1,000's unable to vote, violence, vote-buying.#Elecciones2012