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“President” Obrador Calls For Disobediance

From those lovers of freely elected governments at Reuters:

Supporters of Party of the Democratic Revolution (PRD) presidential candidate Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador protest outside the Federal Electoral Tribunal in Mexico City.

Mexico left takes election protest back to streets

Sun Jul 30, 2006

By Catherine Bremer

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) – Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, the left-winger who claims he was robbed of victory in Mexico’s contested presidential election, will lead a massive protest rally on Sunday to press for a vote-by-vote recount.

Hundreds of thousands of people are expected to join the march across Mexico City to its central Zocalo, one of the world’s largest squares, where Lopez Obrador will announce details of a civil disobedience campaign to push his cause.

Mexico has been thrust into a political crisis by the election, which saw Lopez Obrador, the former mayor of Mexico City, beaten by ruling party conservative Felipe Calderon by just around 244,000 votes out of 41 million cast.

Lopez Obrador, who campaigned on promises to help Mexico’s poor with ambitious welfare and infrastructure programs, is challenging the result before Mexico’s highest electoral court. He says he will only accept the result if there is a recount.

While stressing his protests will stay peaceful, Lopez Obrador upped the ante last week by declaring he was the country’s legitimate president and warning his supporters had plenty of energy for more protests.

The protest on Sunday will be Lopez Obrador’s third since the election, and could be the biggest.

"We are working intensely. It’s going to be a historic march, supporters are coming from all over the country," said Jesus Ortega, a senior aide to the leftist candidate.

PEACEFUL PROTEST EXPECTED

Despite growing tensions, analysts expect the protests to remain peaceful as Lopez Obrador’s Party of the Democratic Revolution, or PRD, waits for the electoral court to make its call on allegations of vote-rigging over the next few weeks.

"The PRD is worried about the violence it could generate and is trying to avoid it. I don’t see violent organizations among Lopez Obrador’s backers," said political analyst Carlos Sirvent of Sunday’s march.

However large the protest, it is unlikely to directly influence the seven electoral court judges who have until August 31 to decide whether there is a case to reopen ballot boxes.

Lopez Obrador claims vote counts were fiddled at more than half the country’s roughly 130,000 polling stations.

The judges’ choices range from throwing out Lopez Obrador’s case and declaring Calderon the winner, to ordering a partial or full recount or even annulling the election and calling for a repeat. An annulment is thought highly unlikely and, without it, the court must formally declare Mexico’s president-elect by September 6.

Calderon insists the vote was clean and that no recount is needed. While his party’s lawyers are fighting the PRD at the electoral court, he is trying to pull support from other opposition parties for reforms he plans to push through once he takes office in December.

I hope Al Gore and the DNC are proud of themselves. And of course they are.

Obrador is their man in Mexico.

This article was posted by Steve Gilbert on Sunday, July 30th, 2006. Comments are currently closed.

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