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In returning PRI to power, Mexicans put faith in young democracy (+video)

Enrique Peña Nieto won Sunday's presidential vote, returning the Institutional Revolutionary Party, or PRI, to office. Mexicans are betting their democracy is strong enough to warrant giving the once-authoritarian party another chance.

Enrique Peña Nieto declared preliminary winner in Mexico
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After falling in 2000, the party that ruled Mexico for 71 years consecutively, the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI), is back in power. It's a barometer of Mexicans' faith in their democracy: the once-authoritarian party, they believe, is today best positioned to bring back stability – and must govern under new checks and balances.

Its candidate, Enrique Peña Nieto, won Mexico's presidential election by about a five-point margin, according to preliminary counts, beating Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador of the leftist Party of the Democratic Revolution (PRD) and Josefina Vazquez Mota of the right-leaning, ruling National Action Party (PAN).

"Mexicans have given our party another chance. We are going to honor it with results," said Mr. Peña Nieto, a former governor of the State of Mexico, late Sunday night.

By a comfortable margin, Mexican voters seemed willing to risk that the future of their country could come to resemble its past – when the PRI kept relative stability with an authoritarian grip, handing out favors in return for loyalty, winning elections by rigging votes.

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