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Mexico to hold off on destroying 2006 ballots

Updated at: 11/15/2012 2:35 AM
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(AP) MEXICO CITY - Mexican electoral authorities say they are abandoning plans to destroy ballots from the hotly disputed 2006 presidential election after a U.N. human rights commission asked the government to hold off.

The president of Mexico’s Federal Electoral Institute says storing the ballots has cost Mexico about $8.7 million over the last six years. But Leonardo Valdes said Wednesday that Mexico will heed the request and continue to hold the ballots at a warehouse until all concerns are resolved.

Leftist candidate Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador claimed vote fraud after he lost the 2006 race to Felipe Calderon by a razor-thin margin of just over a half-percentage point. A partial recount of about 9 percent of ballots carried out soon after the election didn’t change the results. Calderon leaves office Dec. 1.

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)