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Boxer shorts lead to cancellation of results in key Mexican vote

December 28, 2011 |  5:10 pm

REPORTING FROM MEXICO -- The shorts have it.

Mexican election authorities Wednesday annulled the results in last month's hotly contested vote for mayor of Morelia, capital of Michoacan, President Felipe Calderon's home state.

The reason was not tied to allegations of widespread intimidation by drug gangs or other corruption.

The reason was because Mexican boxer Juan Manuel Marquez, in a major bout with Philippine fighter Manny Pacquiao in Las Vegas last month, wore trunks with the emblem of a Mexican political party -- the resurgent Institutional Revolutionary Party, or PRI.

The welterweight match was broadcast worldwide -- the day before the vote in Michoacan. The PRI won in Morelia and almost everywhere else in Michoacan -- an election seen as crucial because it was the last statewide vote before next year's presidential race and a test of the PRI's steady comeback.

Mexico's highest electoral tribunal said the logo, along with an appearance by a PRI candidate at a rally, violated rules prohibiting partisan publicity in the final days of the campaign (link in Spanish).

Calderon's conservative National Action Party celebrated the ruling and said it hoped results for the Michoacan governorship would also be annulled (link in Spanish). Calderon's sister ran for that post and narrowly lostto the PRI candidate.


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-- Tracy Wilkinson

Photo: In a Nov. 12, 2011, file photo from Las Vegas, Mexico's Juan Manuel Marquez, left, fights Manny Pacquiao of the Philippines. On the left leg of Marquez's boxer shorts, the red-green-and-white emblem of the Institutional Revolutionary Party, or PRI, can be seen. Credit: Jae C. Hong / Associated Press