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Mexico Political Pact Survival Hinges on Probe, Opposition Says

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May 6 (Bloomberg) -- Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto’s administration must speed up a probe into the alleged purchase of votes in the July elections before a pact among the top parties to pass economic bills can resume, an opposition Senate leader said.

The impasse in the so-called Pact for Mexico can be overcome once names of those suspected of wrongdoing are disclosed and the government shows a willingness to punish them, said Senator Miguel Barbosa in an interview today at Bloomberg’s Mexico City office. Opposition parties circulated last month video and audio tapes of officials from Pena Nieto’s party allegedly arranging to buy votes in the July elections for Veracruz state officials through funds from government anti-poverty programs.

The government was forced to delay plans to present new rules to boost bank loans after opposition parties said the agreement to help the government pass bills to accelerate growth was suspended because of the corruption allegations. Pena Nieto said April 23 he won’t tolerate the use of any government programs for electoral purposes.

“The dialogue is suspended; the building of proposals is suspended,” said Barbosa of the Democratic Revolution Party, the nation’s third largest party. “To renew it, to re-activate it, results of the investigation into the alleged acts need to be disclosed, so that if there are irregularities they are corrected and those responsible are punished.”

Pena Nieto’s government said April 24 the parties agreed to restart talks. The former ruling National Action Party and the PRD say they still need signs the government will crack down on vote buying before they’ll return fully to the negotiating table.

To contact the reporters on this story: Nacha Cattan in Mexico City at ncattan@bloomberg.net; Eric Martin in Mexico City at emartin21@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Andre Soliani at asoliani@bloomberg.net

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