Mexico ends poll campaign marred by deaths, boycotts

Mexico City, June 4 (IANS) Mexico ended campaigning for Sunday’s elections with close to 20 deaths and boycotts by teachers unions and the parents of 43 missing students marring the runup to the legislative polls, Spanish news agency Efe reported on Thursday.

After nearly two months, the campaign ended on Wednesday with candidates of the 1,996 posts urging voters to come to polls on Sunday.

More than 83 million Mexicans are eligible to cast their ballots in order to choose 500 federal legislators, nine state governors and hundreds of regional and local office-holders.

Despite the words of peace offered by Lorenzo Cordova, president of the National Electoral Institute, boycott activities continued on Wednesday, especially in the states of Chiapas, Oaxaca and Guerrero.

At a press conference, Cordova said that the institute was ready for the elections despite unfavourable circumstances.

Mexican media published lists that report nearly 20 deaths in recent months, including probable candidates, candidates, and campaign members.

In Oaxaca, teachers of the National Coordinator of Education Workers blocked the international airport to exert pressure on the authorities to have their demands met.

Some 200 teachers reached the airport facilites but did not resort to any violent actions.

After the blockade, the airport suspended flights and closed its premises, airport sources confirmed to Efe.

Teachers, who on Monday began an indefinite strike affecting more than one million students, seek to boycott the June 7 elections and at the same time force the government to respond to their requests, including repeal of the educational reform.

Some tension was also reported in Guerrero, where 10 police officers and two protesters were injured in a clash between security forces and families of the 43 students who disappeared on the night of September 26, 2014.

Both teachers and the families are against the elections and consider these to be a “farce” over the lack of safety conditions and candidates allegedly involved with organised crime.

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