President-elect Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said Friday that a fund set up by his party to support those affected by last September’s earthquake was above board and all transfers documented.
Mexico’s electoral authority levied a $10 million fine on the party over the fund this week, suggesting it may have been a vehicle to hand out money to potential voters.
Lopez Obrador said at a news conference that his Morena party would fight the “unjust” fine and charged that his party was targeted by those who don’t want change.
“There was no diversion of funds,” he said. “The money wasn’t used to ask people to vote for Morena.”
He said the fund collected more than $4.4 million and helped 28,000 people affected by the earthquake, with each receiving about $125.
Remaining funds have been frozen, but he wants to reach their commitment of distributing more than $5.4 million before the quake’s Sept. 19 anniversary.
Lopez Obrador also said he would not attend the Pacific Alliance Summit in Puerto Vallarta next week. He was invited by current President Enrique Pena Nieto, but said the electoral authority had still not certified his landslide July 1 victory, so technically he could not attend the official event as president-elect.
He said Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland planned to meet with him in Mexico City on Wednesday. Last week, U.S. Secretary of State Michael Pompeo and White House adviser Jared Kushner were part of a U.S. delegation that met with the president-elect, who is to take office Dec. 1.