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Leftists Demand Florida Style Recount In Mexico

From the France’s AFP:

Electoral official Maria Vallarta counts the ballots at the 15th District office during the final count of the Mexican presidential election in Mexico City, on Wednesday, July 5, 2006.

Mexico verifies presidential vote tally, leftist demands full recount

by Patrick Moser

Mexico began verifying a ballot tally that gave Felipe Calderon a razor-thin presidential victory, as his leftist rival demanded a full recount, saying the country’s stability was at stake.

The verification process should last several days, but claims of widespread irregularities raised the specter of the Florida debacle, when legal wrangling delayed the outcome of the 2000 US presidential election by five weeks.

Leftist Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, the standard-bearer of the Party of the Democratic Revolution (PRD), reiterated his demand for a full manual recount of the 42 million votes cast on Sunday.

"The stability of the country is at stake," he said.

But Calderon, a pro-business conservative of the ruling National Action Party (PAN), insisted victory was clearly his. "We can guarantee we have won the election," he said at a news conference.

Figures announced on Tuesday narrowed Calderon’s advantage to just over 257,500 votes, from an initial 402,700, leaving him with a lead of only 0.6 points.

The Federal Electoral Office (IFE) said the new figures took into account 2.58 million ballots that had been set aside because they appeared to contain inconsistencies.

IFE and political party officials on Wednesday started double-checking the vote counts sent in from the 138,500 polling stations to the 300 district-level offices. Already early in the day, PRD representatives demanded in several cases that specific tallies be compared with the actual ballots.

Once the verification process is completed, the parties have four days to raise legal objections, which will be considered by the Federal Electoral Tribunal, the ultimate arbiter in electoral disputes.

IFE has until Sunday to announce a president-elect but the final outcome might only be decided by the tribunal, which must render its verdict on September 6.

"I believe we won’t know for quite some time who will be the president," said legal expert Ana Maria Salazar, who was a senior policy adviser in the administration of former US president Bill Clinton.

Deputy Manuel Camacho Solis, a top aide of Lopez Obrador, insisted a delay was "preferable to the risk of a political crisis," adding that he could not rule out a call for mass demonstrations by the PRD.

"We are getting more and more information that there were manipulations in favor of the PAN," he told AFP.

The post-electoral disputes came in the wake of campaigns marked by bitter accusations and mudslinging.

Calderon’s campaign had capitalized on fears that a Lopez Obrador victory would plunge Mexico into a political and economic crisis and likened the former mayor to Venezuela’s virulently anti-US leader Hugo Chavez, a comparison generally rejected by analysts.

Lopez Obrador claimed Calderon stood for a government that served the wealthy to the detriment of impoverished Mexicans, who make up about half the 103 million population.

A lifelong politician, Calderon, 43, has served as energy minister in the cabinet of President Vicente Fox, whose 2000 victory ended 71 years of authoritarian rule by the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI.)

He says he wants to encourage foreign investment and slash corporate taxes in order to boost economic growth and create badly-needed jobs.

Lopez Obrador, 52, who professes little interest in foreign policy, had pledged that if elected he would carry out wide-ranging social reforms similar to those that gained him strong popularity when he was mayor of Mexico City from 2000 to 2005.

The terrorist lovers at Reuters are even less subtle:

Mexico leftist has slim early lead in vote recount

Wed Jul 5, 2006 2:30 PM ET

M EXICO CITY, July 5 (Reuters) – Mexico’s leftist presidential candidate Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador had an early, narrow lead over his conservative rival on Wednesday in a recount of a contested election.

Results on display at the Federal Electoral Institute showed Lopez Obrador had 37.05 percent of the vote with results in from 36.6 percent of polling stations. Ruling party candidate Felipe Calderon was second with 34.38 percent.

It was too soon to say whether the trend would hold. Preliminary results earlier this week from Sunday’s election gave Calderon a lead of about 0.6 percentage points over Lopez Obrador.

The press seems determined to force either the outright victory of Obrador or at the very least make Calderon share power with him.

Oddly enough, whenever anyone shares power with the radical left they usually end up being taken over by them.

Of course our one party media wouldn’t want that.

This article was posted by Steve on Wednesday, July 5th, 2006. Comments are currently closed.

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