(fixes spelling of candidate's name in 5th graf)


The coalition formed by the conservative National Action Party, or PAN, and the leftist Party of the Democratic Revolution, or PRD, claimed victory Monday in the gubernatorial election held over the weekend in Mexico's Baja California state, while the Institutional Revolutionary Party, or PRI, said it would wait for the final results to be released later this week.

The coalition, according to the Preliminary Election Results Program, or PREP, won 47.16 percent of the vote and the PRI garnered 44.14 percent, with 96.43 percent of the ballots tallied, in Baja California.

The governorship of the northwestern state of Baja California, a state whose control the PRI lost in 1989, was the biggest prize up for grabs in Sunday's election.

Some problems were detected with the way the PREP was tallied and the final results from the election will not be available until Wednesday.

The coalition's gubernatorial candidate, Francisco "Kiko" Vega de Lamadrid, told Televisa that he was certain he won.

"The counts we did on 78 percent of the ballots put us up by about four points. In the PREP, with just over 96 percent, we are up by three points. This all matches the exit polls," the candidate said.

PRI gubernatorial candidate Fernando Castro Trenti told Televisa he would not comment on the results.

Some 30 million Mexicans were eligible to vote in the elections and nearly 1,800 offices in 14 states were up for grabs on Sunday.

A total of 1,348 mayoralties and more than 400 state legislative seats were in play in the elections in Aguascalientes, Baja California, Chihuahua, Coahuila, Durango, Hidalgo, Oaxaca, Puebla, Quintana Roo, Sinaloa, Tamaulipas, Tlaxcala, Veracruz and Zacatecas states. EFE