General elections were held in México on July 6, 1988.Carlos Salinas de Gortari was declared the winner, with the Ministry of Interior saying he had received 50.7% of the vote. It was the lowest for a winning candidate since direct elections were introduced for the presidency in 1917. In the Chamber of Deputies election, the Institutional Revolutionary Party won 260 of the 500 seats, as well as winning 60 of the 64 seats in the Senate election. Voter turnout was said to be 51.6% in the presidential election, 49.7% for the Senate elections and 49.4% for the Chamber election. During the vote count, the government said that the computers had crashed, characterizing it as "a breakdown of the system." One observer said, "For the ordinary citizen, it was not the computer network but the Mexican political system that had crashed." Although early results had indicated Cuauhtemoc Cárdenas was winning, when computer function was said to have been restored, Salinas was said to have eked out a narrow victory.
Years later, former president Miguel de la Madrid admitted in an autobiography that the presidential elections had been rigged to make the Institutional Revolutionary Party win, and that three years after the election, all ballots were burnt in order to remove all evidence of the fraud.