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Government Party in Mexico Declares Victory in Tamaulipas Elections

December 8, 1986

REYNOSA, Mexico (AP) _ The government’s Institutional Revolutionary Party has claimed a gubernatorial victory in northern Tamaulipas state elections.

Carlos Brito Gomez, spokesman for the ruling party, known as PRI, made the unofficial announcement in the state capital of Victoria.

The announcement came as no surprise. The PRI has never lost a gubernatorial or presidential election in its 57-year history. Official results from Sunday’s voting are not expected for at least a week.

The gubernatorial race pitted PRI’s Americo Villarreal Guerra against Jorge Camargo of the conservative National Action Party, or PAN, and four other weaker opposition candidates.

Guerra, 55, is a federal senator and civil engineer while Camargo, 52, is a federal deputy and businessman from the state’s largest city, Tampico, on the Gulf of Mexico.

Brito Gomez also said PRI was winning in the majority of the state’s 43 mayoral races and 15 legislative races, but he did not elaborate.

PRI official said the results were based on reports from poll watchers throughout this Texas-Mexico border state of 2.3 million people.

Opposition parties charged Sunday that PRI was fixing results by stealing ballots, removing opposition supporters from voting lists, and casting illegal votes.

The Authentic Party of the Mexican Revolution, or PARM, which has emerged in recent years as the second force in Tamaulipas politics, charged that about 50,000 missing ballots would be used to stuff ballot boxes.

″They’ll use them as ‘tacos’ and stuff them into the boxes,″ said Sonia Martijez de Villar, the PARM’s mayoral candidate in Matamoros just south of Brownsville, Texas. Taco is a slang term for illegal ballots.

Benito Hernandez, president of the Matamoros Election Commission acknowledged that some ballots did not arrive from Victoria. But he said there still were more than enough for all the city’s registered voters.

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