Lessons Learned from the 2006 Elections
CSIS's Mexico Project hosted a breakfast discussion with Dr. Luis Carlos Ugalde, the president of Mexico's Federal Electoral Institute (IFE).
On July 2, 2006, the IFE administered the presidential election with the closest margin in Mexican history. Once the 41,557,430 votes were tabulated, Felipe Calderón, the candidate for the National Action Party (PAN) captured 35.89 percent of the vote, while Andrés Manuel López Obrador, the candidate "For the Good of All" Coalition came in second with 35.33 percent of the vote, amounting to a 0.56 percentage difference.
Undoubtedly, with such a razor-thin margin, the administration of the federal election became the most scrutinized election in Mexican history. Dr. Ugalde discussed the strengths and weaknesses of Mexico's electoral system, including the allegations of electoral fraud. He also talked about the IFE's future challenges, which include the review of both the campaign finance and campaign expenditures of the 2006 federal elections — a process that has already begun.
Dr. Ugalde also spoke at CSIS before the elections.