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Thousands hold 'vote fraud' march

Thousands have marched through Mexico City, railing against what they called the "imposition" of the old ruling party candidate as the country's new president.

Protesters carried signs accusing presumed president-elect Enrique Pena Nieto of electoral fraud and Mexico television giant Televisa of being a "factory of lies".

Opponents say Mr Pena Nieto's party, the Institutional Revolutionary Party (IRP), won the July 1 election through vote-buying and overspending, including paying major media outlets such as Televisa for favourable coverage.

The IRP has vehemently denied the charges and on Friday accused losing leftist candidate Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador of trying to "disqualify the entire electoral process with lies". Televisa also has denied being paid for positive coverage.

Mexico City authorities did not immediately release an official crowd estimate, but the march appeared to draw far fewer people than similar protests before the election with as many as 90,000 participants. A July 7 march, the first after election, drew 50,000. The events have attracted people from a new student movement I Am 132, and left-wing groups supporting Mr Lopez Obrador.

The lower participation raises questions of whether Mexico's university students have spawned a real movement in their demand for "authentic democracy" and an opening of Mexico's media, or if it is just part of the standard post-election protests in Mexico.

In 2006, after Mr Lopez Obrador narrowly lost to President Felipe Calderon, he marshalled hundreds of thousands of supporters to block Mexico City's main centre for weeks. Mr Lopez Obrador said he will not mobilise people on the streets this time. His choking of central Mexico City in 2006 was highly unpopular with residents.

I Am 132 has released a series of proposed events over the coming weeks, including Sunday's march, designed to overturn the vote results. Other groups have said they will block the December 1 inauguration of Mr Pena Nieto.

Mr Pena Nieto, 46, won the presidential election by 6.6 percentage points, according to the official count, bringing the PRI back to power after 12 years in opposition. The final vote count must be certified in September by the Federal Electoral Tribunal.

The current ruling conservative National Action Party, whose candidate came in third, joined Mr Lopez Obrador's Democratic Revolution Party this week in demanding that electoral authorities investigate the purported use of pre-paid debit cards by Mr Pena Nieto's campaign to disburse an estimated £5.2 million in funds. The PRI counters that they have presented no evidence.

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