Mexico elections: Polls close after vote marred by violence

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image copyrightReuters

image captionAn estimated 93.5 million Mexicans were eligible to vote in the mid-term elections

Polls have closed in Mexico’s mid-term elections after one of the country’s bloodiest campaigns in recent history.

Early results suggest President Andrés Manuel López Obrador’s governing Morena party and its allies will win a reduced majority in Congress.

The elections have been marred by violence with dozens of politicians killed in the build up to the vote.

On Sunday, a severed head was lobbed into a polling station and five election workers shot dead.

Early forecasts suggest Mr López Obrador’s party is on course to lose the two-thirds majority in the lower house of Congress he wanted to continue a programme of reforms he calls the “Fourth Transformation”.

But the party may still gain an absolute majority together with allies.

Some 51% of an estimated 93.5 million eligible voters came out to vote.

All 500 seats in the lower house, 15 state governorships and thousands of local leadership positions are up for grabs.

The elections are being viewed as a referendum on the leftist rule of 67-year-old Mr López Obrador, who is halfway through a six-year term.

image copyrightEPA

image captionPresident Andrés Manuel López Obrador was hoping to keep his party’s two-thirds majority

Despite maintaining high approval ratings, Mr López Obrador has faced increasing criticism for his handling of the Covid-19 pandemic, and his failure to crackdown on drug cartels.

Mexico’s main opposition parties have formed an electoral and legislative alliance, and are seeking to overturn the government’s dominance in the legislature.

Violence persisted into polling day.

Five election workers were shot dead in the state of Chiapas. In Mexico State, someone lobbed an inactive grenade into a voting station.

In the border city of Tijuana, a man threw a severed head at a polling station and plastic bags filled with body parts were found nearby, local authorities said.

Elsewhere, videos showed activists attacking polling stations and voting had to be suspended in some places.

media captionWatch: the Mexican mayor refusing to give in to violence as she stands for a second term

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