One week ago, on Sunday, June 28, the Honduran military ousted President Manuel Zelaya, provoking a hemispheric-wide political crisis.
Today, Sunday, July 5, Mexican voters go to the polls to elect 500 seats in the Camara de Diputados, as well as governors in six states, and municipal delegates in Mexico City (Distrito Federal). It is the first election in Latin America since last Sunday's coup in Honduras. Will voters take to the polls to support democracy?
One election observer, Professor Jason Johnson of Hiram College has taken the extraordinary step of posting Mexican election updates on Twitter.
Unlike Iran and Honduras, where social media exploded AFTER political strife, twitter is being used in Mexico BEFOREHAND to promote transparency in the pre-election environment. Jason Johnson is the only election monitor using twitter to share his observer mission with the public.
Professor Johnson has observed elections on two continents: presidential election in Mexico, local parliamentary elections in South Africa. He is unaffiliated with the partisan observer missions such as the National Democratic Institute and the International Republican Institute.
According to Reuters Mexico, there are three likely scenarios:
- The PRI gains seats but not an outright majority in the Chamber of Deputies.
- The PRI wins an absolute majority in the lower chamber.
- The PAN reverses its electoral slide and maintains a plurality of deputies.
Another wrinkle in the campaign is the #votonulo meme. A number of Mexicans have become so disenchanted with all political parties that they plan to spoil their ballots in protest - casting a "Null" vote. According to El Universal newspaper, the Catholic Church is urging Mexicans to NOT annul their vote.