Mexico's Institutional Revolutionary Party has selected Roberto Madrazo as its candidate for the 2006 presidential election.

Mr. Madrazo easily defeated challenger Everado Moreno during Sunday's PRI primary election.

Mr. Madrazo is a former Tobasco state governor who headed the PRI until recently. His nomination was virtually assured after his main challenger Arturo Montiel dropped out last month amid allegations of corruption.

The presidential primary is the party first since it was defeated by President Vicente Fox and his National Action Party in 2000 after the PRI held power for seven decades. During that time, Mexican presidents handpicked their successors in the party.

With conservative president Fox not allowed to run again, Mr. Madrazo will face conservative Felipe Calderon and leftist Andres Manual Lopez Obrador in next July's election. Mr. Obrador is currently leading most opinion polls.

Some information for this report provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.