Mexico’s Election Watchdog Orders Ads Criticizing President to Be Pulled

By Wall Street Journal, 04/15/15

MEXICO CITY—Mexico’s elections watchdog has ordered that an opposition political party’s TV and radio ads accusing President Enrique Peña Nieto of misspending taxpayers’ money be pulled from the airwaves for slandering the president, raising concerns about the ability of political parties to criticize the government.

The National Electoral Institute said in a statement Tuesday that the advertisements from the conservative National Action Party, or PAN, contained “slanderous messages” and gave TV and radio companies 24 hours to stop running the spots.

The TV ads criticize the president for allegedly taking along some 200 people with him as part of the official Mexican delegation during a March state visit to the U.K.

The institute said that Mr. Peña Nieto complained that the ads “discredit and disqualify” the executive without offering “any proof.”

During the March visit, Mexico’s most influential newspaper, Reforma, reported that the Mexican delegation totaled some 200 people, including cabinet members, politicians, businessmen and academics. It said the delegation was far larger than previous Mexican state visits.

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