Mexico: Electoral watchdog fines Morena party $10 million for 'opaque' funding

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The National Electoral Institute (INE), Mexico’s electoral authority, has levied a historic fine on Morena, the Mexican political party that assumed power in the July 1 elections by a large electoral margin (The Washington Post).

The organization that took over the presidency, a majority of Congress and five of nine states in the July elections, is required to pay 197 million peso ($10 million) for allegedly establishing a trust fund named Por Los Demás (For the Others) to help victims of last year’s earthquake. The fund was seen to have had an unusual movement of funds (AP).

Initially, INE had dismissed accusations of wrongdoing from rival Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI). However, it subsequently determined the fund was “opaque,” and broke electoral rules prohibiting parties from giving money directly to members of the public (BBC).

The party of President-elect Andrés Manuel López Obrador, Morena said the fund was private and not run by the party. It plans to appeal the fine.

The electoral watchdog group also voted to fine the ruling PRI and conservative National Action Party, for separate finance violations (The Washington Post).

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