UPDATE 1-New Mexico ruling party boss, ally of president, attacks graft

martes 12 de julio de 2016 23:04 GYT

(Recasts throughout after confirmation, adds quote)

By Alizeh Kohari and Lizbeth Diaz

MEXICO CITY, July 12 (Reuters) - A former energy official continued his rapid rise in Mexico's political establishment to become leader of the ruling party on Tuesday, vowing to rid it of corruption after scandals that have battered the authority of President Enrique Pena Nieto.

Enrique Ochoa, head of the Federal Electricity Commission (CFE) until he resigned on Friday, was confirmed as chairman of the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) by an internal committee, and immediately said the party must clean up its image.

"It's unacceptable to turn a blind eye, we must react," Ochoa told a crowd of party members. "We must be a party that flags corruption in our own governments, one that demands that they are held accountable and even subject to dismissal."

Pena Nieto's office accused two state governments on Monday of flouting anti-corruption laws, a move that political analysts saw as a warning to their outgoing PRI governors, who have been tarnished by graft accusations.

The PRI has ruled Mexico continuously since 1929, barring a hiatus from 2000 to 2012, and its name has become synonymous with political corruption over time.

Pena Nieto's administration has done little to change that perception. He, his wife, and his finance minister were all embroiled in a damaging conflict-of-interest scandal when it emerged they bought homes from government contractors.

A subsequent probe led by an official close to Pena Nieto found no evidence of wrongdoing.   Continuación...