Mexico: ruling party used $5.2 million cash cards

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Associated Press

Posted on January 24, 2013 at 7:01 PM

Updated Thursday, Jan 24 at 10:04 PM

MEXICO CITY (AP) — Mexico's Federal Electoral Institute has confirmed that President Enrique Pena Nieto's party spent about $5.2 million through electronic cash cards during last year's presidential campaign.

Opposition parties had charged the money represented illicit campaign financing, but the institute said it found no evidence of that.

Though the money appeared to have been triangulated, the institute's board voted 5-4 late Wednesday that it did not necessarily represent a campaign violation.

However, the institute said it will apply the amount against the candidate's $26.5-million campaign spending limit.

Campaign overspending can result in fines, but not reversal of the results.

Pena Nieto won the July elections, but was dogged by accusations from his opponents that his campaign used cash cards and handed out pre-paid gift cards to gain support.

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