MEXICO CITY – The Mexican Electoral Tribunal overturned a National Electoral Institute (INE) order on Tuesday, ruling that former Gov. Jaime “El Bronco” Rodriguez Calderon, an independent, should be placed on the presidential ballot.
Rodriguez Calderon, who served as governor of the northern state of Nuevo Leon, failed to get enough signatures from citizens on a petition to be placed on the ballot for the July 1 presidential election, the INE said.
The 60-year-old Rodriguez Calderon, a rancher known for his trademark boots, cowboy hat and horse, was elected governor of Nuevo Leon as an independent in 2015.
The Electoral Tribunal ruled in favor of Rodriguez Calderon, finding that he was not allowed to review the signatures tossed out by INE officials as invalid.
The tribunal also concluded that the INE did not allow the independent politician to mount a full defense of its order.
The INE approved the independent candidacy of former first lady Margarita Zavala.
The 50-year-old Zavala is the wife of former President Felipe Calderon, who governed Mexico from 2006 to 2012.
Rodriguez Calderon will now be able to take on Zavala and the presidential candidates of the three political coalitions.
Former Mexico City Mayor Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador is the candidate of the leftist National Regeneration Movement (MORENA); Ricardo Anaya is the standard bearer of the conservative National Action Party (PAN); and Jose Antonio Meade is the candidate of the coalition led by the governing Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI).
On July 1, some 89 million voters will be eligible to cast ballots for a new president and candidates for some 3,400 other posts in 30 of Mexico’s 32 states.