To The Courts!

It's not over yet. Mexico's electoral commission concluded its tabulations in the middle of the night Wednesday and a surprising number of Mexicans appear to have been awake when the news came across that conservative Felipe Calderón is -- for now at least -- the winner of the presidential election.

But by 8:30 this morning, an exhausted-looking Andrés Manuel López Obrador, standing in his jam-packed campaign headquarters, said he wasn't satisfied with the count and will challenge it.

No surprise there. But there's been plenty of drama in the past 24 hours as Mexico's young democracy tackled its first real electoral test, a tight three-way presidential contest that resulted in an even tighter vote margin.

For much of the day Wednesday, it was López Obrador, the tough-talking former mayor of Mexico City, who led in counts taking place in 300 district offices across the nation. Throughout the evening, Calderón's team frantically worked the phones, urging reporters not to make too big of a deal of the partial tallies.

Most of the morning papers blared tallies showing López Obrador with a razor-thin margin -- just the sort of headlines the Calderón team had hoped to thwart.

But the Mexicans who managed to stay awake until 4 a.m. were able to see for themselves as the tide turned in Calderón's favor. Television stations and El Universal's Web site tracked it all, in what the newspaper has labeled "Minuto x Minuto"

As is customary, Mexicans took to the streets in emotional displays on both sides. Outside López Obrador's headquarters, hundreds of people gathered to protest the count, chanting "vote no on fraud." Inside, the candidate was unusually subdued, but his rhetoric was as hot as ever as he castigated the federal election commission and accused President Vicente Fox's administration of aiding and abetting the other side.

At the same time, Calderón's supporters were celebrating along Paseo de la Reforma, a stunning downtown boulevard known for the massive winged statue monument. He plans to hold a news conference later today after the election commission makes its formal announcement.

And the fun continues this weekend. AMLO, known for his ability to draw rock-concert-sized crowds, is summoning supporters to Mexico City's zocalo for a rally Saturday evening. The square, believed to be the second or third largest in the world, was home to López Obrador's closing rally of the campaign in which hundreds of thousands stood in a steady drizzle to cheer him on.

Campaign Conexión wouldn't miss it.

By washingtonpost.com Editors |  July 6, 2006; 11:27 AM ET  | Category:  Campaign Conexión
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The basic anti-democratic nature of many, not all, but many in the PRD has become evident. Protesters in front of IFE headquarters threaten officials if the vote count does not go their way. "Habra revolcion!" they chant.

Meanwhile, PRD representatives all across the northern states make up challenges to delay the count of votes from those states where they know the PAN won overwhelmingly. Why? So that they can then tell supporters-- "Look at the obvious fraud--when you went to bed, Lopez Obrador was ahead by two points and then, when you got up this morning, Calderon was ahead!" To the uneducated masses this looks fishy. Of course, many PRD people are poorly educated and it is not their fault. They are victims of an education system dominated by self-serving teachers' unions, which, of course, are big PRD supporters.

Thank God Felipe won.

Posted by: Goyo | July 6, 2006 12:38 PM

What is going to happen when the northern PAN governors start announcing that they recognize Calderon as the Mexican President? The PRD is treading on very dangerous ground, and threatens to split Mexico if this goes on. Either the election was fair, or ALL of the international observers are lying.
If Mexico does split, who will pay for all the social programs in the south?

Posted by: Jerry Bourbon | July 6, 2006 12:56 PM

Goya nailed it. Here in Monterrey, Nuevo Leon, PRD has used stalling tactics over the past 24 hours to stretch out the counting process in a lame attempt to generate public sympathy for the PRD. What we're seeing is proof positive that Obredor would have been a horrible Presdident. He simply does not rspect the law. He would have been a tyrant, ignoring the law whenever it thwarted his "divine will". Here's one difference: PAN supporters voted for a platform - PRD supporters voted for a messiah.

Posted by: Greg | July 6, 2006 01:09 PM

Why are many conservatives so resistent to having a recount of the votes? They are in the U.S., and they are in Mexico.

Many Conservatives, by in large, are very undemocratic in this regard.

Considering the number of irregularities, such as over 100% votes in PAN control states, missing ballots, incorrect numbers entered into PREP, and statistically unprobably surges, the most logical thing to do is to recount the votes.

It is more important for the process to be clean and believable than to have our favorite candidate win.

I believe that Calderon and his team are afraid of a recount because--just like Bush in 2000--they believe that they could lose, so they are clinging to the current vote count to push their way into winning the presidency.

No need to be afraid: if Lopez Obrador wins in a total vote recount, Calderon should request and be granted a recount too, until all irregularities are flushed out and everyone is convinced with the legality of the vote.

In reality, Mexico would be fine with either candidate. It is the process that matters the most.

Posted by: Hugo Estrada | July 6, 2006 01:11 PM

One word to you AMLO-haters; Yushchenko. If you supported that thief and the Orange Revolution, then every tactic that AMLO may use to reverse this result must be supported 100%. They opened a couple of ballot boxes to actually count the ballots and each time the PAN were caught with their hands in the cookie jar, caught lying about the real total of votes. Unlike Yushchenko who used illegal means such as getting western Ukrainian assemblies to declare him president, blocking the square and government offices, claiming to be president, etc, AMLO is following the law. Now you Bush-lovers who used the legalistic argument to shut down the Florida recount will of course cite the fact that legally, there is no obligation to check the ballots, that if the Panistas cheated within the law, then so be it. Then perhaps Mexico does need a revolution. If the tribunals make political decisions to ignore the irregularities, political decisions not unlike those in the US, and you say 'well that's how the cookie crumbles', then perhaps Mexico does need a revolution. Of course if there a campaign of peaceful protest, you will be the first to support state violence that, had it happened in Ukraine or Serbia, would have had you demanding the US Air Force to drop bombs on that country to effect "regime change".

Posted by: r | July 6, 2006 01:11 PM

as of 13:00 EDT, with 99.8% of all polls counted, Calderon has a .51% lead or about 200,000+ vote advantage--hell of a lot more than the 535 margin Bush had over Gore in Florida in 2000.

IT'S OVER!

Viva Calderon!
Viva La Virgen de Guadalupe

Viva Fox!

Viva Mexico!

Posted by: VivaCalderon06 | July 6, 2006 01:11 PM

I'm one of millions of Mexicans who stayed awake all night waiting to see the final results from the tabulations conducted by the 300 electoral districts around the country. The results sadden me, since it seems that the candidate from the PAN, Felipe Calderon, is above by 0.51 with 99.80% of the tallies computed.

The results sadden me, you guessed right, because I voted for Lopez Obrador and because I saw throughout the electoral campaign how President Fox, the media and the business groups all came together to call AMLO a "danger for the country". So AMLO was not only contending against 4 other candidates, but against the current PAN administration and the interest-groups that support it. I'm sure the international press took note of that dirt campaign.

Now, Lopez Obrador is going to challenge the results and take the matter to the Electoral Court. He's asking for a vote-by-vote recount and I think Mexican citizens demand such a recount too. In such a tense moment for the country, there should be no room for speculation. No room for regrets. We demand that every single vote gets counted.

Posted by: Mexican Voter | July 6, 2006 01:13 PM

Consider the following facts: 1) According to official results, the leading candidates are separated by one half of one per cent of the vote. 2) The official tally now shows a margin for Calderon that is half as large as the margin reported on Sunday -- indicating that the vote counting process has fallen short of complete precision. 3) Mexico is a country with a long history of systematic election fraud, including the 1988 presidential election, which, as is widely acknlweded, was brazenly stolen from Lopez Obrador's party. 4) As the New York Times has reported, when a number of ballot boxes challenged by the PRD were opened yesterday, large discrepancies were revealed between the count that had been reported by election officials and the actual vote as reflected on the ballots themselves. 5) There are numerous other allegations of irregularites, which have yet to be reviewed by the relevant electoral and judicial authorities.

In view of all of this, I find it astonishing that anyone would attack the PRD for insisting on using the legal recourse available to it to demand a full rcount. This makes the PRD anti-democratic? What, exactly, does the PAN, or anyone genuinely supportive of Mexican democracy, have to fear from a legitimate, vote-by-vote recount?

Posted by: Scott | July 6, 2006 01:26 PM

I love these impossibly close elections that the conservatives always seem to win.

I've read numerous reports indicating that the IFE and PAN orchestrated some serious vote rigging...why doesn't Campaign Conexion investigate some of those? Say, did Marcos really receive a smoking gun document, or is he just a nut case trying to sway the election? I don't know, but how's about you, Ms. Investigative Report, do a little digging and tell us.

No chance that the PRD will get its total vote recount...looks like we're going to see some People Power real soon.

Posted by: MG | July 6, 2006 01:29 PM

First of all, let's have some proof of fraud and irregularities as opposed to accusations and lies. To this day the left still has you believing that both Gore and Kerry won without any shred of proof to support them.

Like in 2000, Gore wanted to change the rules of the game after the election was over and the Supremes put a stop to that nonsense. I do not wish upon Mexico that same shameless debacle of 2000. And there is no reason for this. Mexican election law does not call for a total recount of the election.

This has been a fair and honest election with both candidates giving it their best shot. That it is this close is a testament to their efforts, their message and their supporters.

Mexico should be proud of this election regardless of the winner.

Accept the outcome, the will of the plurality of voters then move on.

Posted by: VivaCalderon06 | July 6, 2006 01:36 PM

So far the PRD hasn't shown a shred of evidence to support any "irregularity". Just vague conspiracy talk. The ONLY reports we have seen here of vote buying are by PRD, such as in Sautillo where they were caught red-handed distributing food parcels from an accounting office.

It's all fishing: The PRD is throwing out a bunch of random situations and claiming they represent an orchestrated "plot" to steal the election from the annointed one.

Posted by: Greg | July 6, 2006 01:37 PM

MG Says I've read numerous reports indicating that the IFE and PAN orchestrated some serious vote rigging...

WHERE did you read these reports? In the Guardian, or the EZLN home page? Are we to assume that in the DF and Tabasco and other PRD strongholds, there was NO vote rigging toward the PRD? Are we to assume that the PRD's stalling tactics here in Tijuana and in the other northern states are anything other than cheap attempts to confuse people by getting AMLO's votes counted first?

Considering the number of ex PRIistas, like Camacho Solis, Manuel Bartlett, et al supporting AMLO, I would think fraud could be a very two way street in this election.

Posted by: Jerry Bourbon | July 6, 2006 01:40 PM

One other thing for those who support Obredor while living outside Mexico. Maybe you also weren't here when the Salinas/Zedillo dream team gave us a crisis that put many of us in two years of hell. You certainly won't be here to live with the consequences of this election. I suppose it's a fun intellectual exercise to support a social experiment - as long as you're not the test subject.

Posted by: Greg | July 6, 2006 01:45 PM

AMLO is a crooked lier, he knows that all the ballots were counted in front of a representative from his own Party and by outstanding citizens who participated freely in the elections, because our elections are organized by citizens, the PRD,which has a tradition of not recognising adverse results. They perfectly know that when ballots were not counted in front of their representatives, they have absolutely no value.
He is offending the citizens who counted the ballots in front of all party representatives and other observers.
What happens here is that he started asking for a recount the very moment he learned the results were adverse to him. But we citizens who participated in the ballot counting do not need to do it again. He can take his case to court and the courts are the only ones with the authority to open the ballots and he and his party know this very well, it is just a media strategy. The IFE does not have the authority to open all ballots, only the courts.

Posted by: Joe Flores | July 6, 2006 01:50 PM

For all PRD members(whom are not very well educated) democracy means "we must win", even if a the party PAN won by 1 vote,thats their Policy at this time,Why should we open the boxes, if the law doesnt say that?, all parties must be agree on that....What they couldnt do in the polls in July2, they want to do it on the streets...i hope this ends with peace

Posted by: Mex voter | July 6, 2006 02:19 PM

"I love these impossibly close elections that the conservatives always seem to win."

MG, did you catch the results of the last Governor's election in Washington State. The Republican was ahead until a bunch of ballots surfaced putting the Democrat over the top. For all I know, they were perfectly legit, but your use of the word "always" is disingenuous because it isn't true.

Posted by: RC | July 6, 2006 02:19 PM

Hey VivaCalderon06 and other Calderon fans,

As Scott mentioned, Obrador is following legal routes available so far, so let's not bash the guy yet. Unfortunately there's a lot of dirt coming out of this election. Maybe 10-15 votes stolen here and there won't make up the 200-300K difference but it is only fair to give Obrador (and the people who voted for him) the chance to verify it. It may actually be the only way out of this mess. There is proof of shoddy behavior (see link below for some pictures of casillas where the people posting the results shown poor arithmetic skills to say the least). Let's get it all clean up. Nothing wrong with that.

http://www.juliohernandez.com.mx/portada/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=334&Itemid=2

Posted by: Emilio | July 6, 2006 02:28 PM

Those demanding proof of irregularities should check out the following link, where photographic evidence has been posted showing discrepancies between the vote totals as recorded on the tally sheets ("actas") at individual polling places and the totals for the same polling places as reported in Sunday's preliminary count. (Whether these discrepancies were corrected in the official count cannot be known at this time, since the IFE has, purportedly for technical reasons, failed to report the votes by state, town, and polling place, as they did on Sunday.) It is simply false to claim that the PRD has not shown any evidence of irregularities. They have shown such evidence and those who wish to dismiss this evidence have an obligation to explain why it should be ignored.

http://www.plandelos3puntos.org/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=1133

Given Mexico's history, given the extreme closeness of the election, and given hard evidence of irregularities in at least some instances (evidence corroborated by, among others, the New York Times, which is no friend of Lopez Obrador), the insistence that Lopez Obrador immediately concede and that his supporters "move on," is really rather unseemly. What's the rush, exactly?

Even if you think Lopez Obrador is a "crooked lier [sic]" (and, by the way, what is your hard evidence in support of that charge?), even if you are thrilled at the prospect of six more years of the PAN, doesn't it makes sense to take the steps necessary to ensure, to the extent possible, that the Mexican people view the election as legitimate? What, exactly, is the point of having an electoral system that provides mechanisms for challenging election results if candidates seeking to use these mechanisms are to be reflexively dismissed as liars and sore losers? If the supporters of the PAN on this site are so confident in the integrity of the election and the vote count, what is your reason for opposing the PRD's use of the legal recourse provided to all candidates, by statute, to challenge the results and thereby bring about a process of verification -- whether by a partial recount, a full recount, or some other means as may be determined by the relavant judicial and administrative authorities? If the vote and the count were clean, then such a process can only serve to confer more credibilty upon the results.

This is not a rhetorical question. I'm curious to know, concretely, why you are opposed to the PRD's lawful demand for further verification of the results?


http://www.plandelos3puntos.org/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=1133

Posted by: Scott | July 6, 2006 02:39 PM

As far as history goes, PAN has always fought for clean elections. The PRD is a splinter group from the PRI, formed by Cuahtemoc Cardenas when he was passed over for the presidency. The PRD is riddled with old-time Priista's, which is why the food-for-vote scam they ran in Sautillo looks so familiar.

The PRD is just pouncing on any scrap of data to try to patch together some kind of conspiracy plan.

Now he's calling together a lynch mob on Saturday to try to pressure the IFE and the Tribunal. Where's the respect for law there?

Obredor's reaction to this situation is just a sign of the disaster we narrowly avoided.

Posted by: Greg | July 6, 2006 02:50 PM

Nobody on the right-wing in America is going to call for a recount or any type of investigation. To say that there is smoke to be checked out in the Mexican election would make too many American's confront the fact that the same thing happened here.

Twice.

Posted by: Byron | July 6, 2006 03:05 PM

This is a very tight election, less than 60,000 votes in a universe of 40 million. As reported from some electoral observers, there are a lot of count inconsistencies all around the country which benefit the Calderon candidate. The only way to clean up the Mexican election is to count the votes one to one. The electoral authority (IFE) did not accept to count the votes forcing Lopez Obrador not to recognize the election and go to the Electoral Court. From my point of view, at this time there is not a Mexican President yet.

Posted by: M. Vazquez | July 6, 2006 03:08 PM

The vast right-wing conspiracy has reached Mexico?

Posted by: Greg | July 6, 2006 03:17 PM

"Now he's calling together a lynch mob on Saturday to try to pressure the IFE and the Tribunal. Where's the respect for law there?"

I wasn't aware that public demonstrations had been declared illegal in Mexico.

Peaceful public protests are not only consistent with respect for the law, they are an integral part of a healthy democracy. Citizens have the right to mobilize to hold public institutions accountable. I'm afraid you can't be in favor of democracy and against the idea of ordinary citizens gathering to express thier views.

As for the PAN's dedication to clean elections, how do you square this claim with Fox's attempt to keep Lopez Obrador off the ballot entirely through the use of a transparent legal pretext?

Posted by: Scott | July 6, 2006 03:23 PM

Goyo:

We had discussed this, but exactly in the reverse direction: IFE propagated, inocently or otherwise, the idea, among missinformed people, that the non-binding PREP results showed an insurmountable difference in favor of Calderon; this "big" lead has been reduced to half a percent point. Besides, what hard evidence do you have to claim that PRD members (or sympathizers) are not very well educated? Among 14 million mexicans who voted for it, I'm sure some are. Another falsity: the main teacher's union is formally dominated by the PRI, not the PRD. Are the teachers educated or uneducated? For whom did they vote? We're lucky that the vote is still secret. Your comments are not very well thought...

A falacy that PAN supporters repeat (to their convenience) is that PRD representatives "witnessed" the voting in every polling station; this is false; the PRD was unable to recruit observers for all the polling stations; this example makes evident the importance of a vote per vote recount, with the minuscule difference existing between leading candidates. Besides, the PRD has the obligation of presenting proof of irregularities to the electoral court. They will, and they will be following electoral law.

Finally, I'm surprised that it took so long for somebody to accuse some of us who give an opinion from the US of not knowing what we are talking about. The blind following of the dictates of the IMF by President Salinas forced me to emmigrate to the US; the country waisted the money paid by the Mexican taxpayers in mi education, all the way to my doctorate (sorry, Goyo!). I left some of my family behind. I'm well aware of Salinas policies, policies dutifully embraced by the Calderon and the group of religious zealots and trickle-down economists, who have hyjacked the PAN from the decent gentlemen who used to belong to it, abandoning the principle of fair play. This is the very reason why I'd much better vote for AMLO, if that IFE that so many PAN supporters defend had not disinfranchised me of my right to vote.

Posted by: pasilla | July 6, 2006 03:33 PM

Many Priistas and Panistas registered as PRD reps in the ballot count. Priistas were paying $50.00 pesos for the vote. I myself got an e-mail from a Panista expalining how the fraud would be. Panistas as much as Priistas are such cheats! They are the real danger to Mexico.

I help but wonder how Calderon really feels inside knowing his victory was not fairly won since all he ever did during his campaign was badmouth Lopez Obrador and since it has always been very convenient for the Mexican government to have ignorant people, they stupidly fell for Calderon's campaign.

Posted by: K.A.R. | July 6, 2006 03:39 PM

A que saber perder! AMLO lost the election. The only reason I say this with any confidence is because I trust the international observers that called it the cleanest election in Mexico's history. You can expect AMLO to talk about conspiracies since that is his only recurse. I for one, was truly unnerved by AMLO "divine will".

Posted by: Che is Dead! | July 6, 2006 03:51 PM

Pasilla,

If AMLO wins, make some room in your US house. Pretty soon you will have the relatives you left behind in Mexico knocking on your door. One hand in front, one in the back.

Peace.

Posted by: MexInMex | July 6, 2006 04:00 PM

Goyo, all you did with your rant is to reveal your contempt for the people of Mexico.

Posted by: B | July 6, 2006 04:01 PM

Hay que saber... pensar. Let's assume, for the sake of the argument, that AMLO truly lost the election; let's assume also that irregularities happened on both sides. Isn't in everybody's best interest to have a total recount? What is to lose? And there is credibility to win.

A full army of happy foreign observers is utterly irrelevant, if more that 14 million Mexican voters remain unconvinced; besides, cleanliness is but a relative term...

Posted by: pasilla | July 6, 2006 04:09 PM

Mobilizing a group of people in order to encourage civil disobedience, which could be the purpose of Saturday's rally, had better be justified by more than the unsupported allegations of conspiracy PRD is offering.

Legitimate peaceful protests do not involve threats toward rebellion, right?


Posted by: Greg | July 6, 2006 04:12 PM

Cute, MexInMex. The Fox government (as far as I know, run by PAN militants) has an excelent record in keeping Mexico-US migration in check. And Calderon claims to be the candidate of "continuity..."

Posted by: pasilla | July 6, 2006 04:22 PM

I could not find any proof of irregularities in the NY Times. I did find this, "He has a history of using marches to protest what he considered fraudulent elections that did not go his way." Lesson learned, "If you can't win, cry foul." The law is the law. If I thought a ballot by ballot recount would quiet AMLO, I would be all for it, but he will just cry conspiracy like he has in the past. The election law says no ballot by ballot recount even if the Divine one insists. There will be riots, but of course AMLO will wash his hands of any blame.

Posted by: Che is Dead! | July 6, 2006 04:24 PM

What is the point of doing a vote by vote count? That was done on sunday, remember? Manual vote counts are inexact, by nature, and parties acknowledge this fact. The same difference observed on the first count will happen on a recount. If parties were not willing to live with this difference, then they should have asked IFE not to allow common citizens do the count, and have the ballots sent to IFE so they could make the count. Then the losing party would raise doubts on other aspects of the elections. AMLO and company are acting as if the votes were never counted one by one. He is doubting the work of hundreds of thousands of Mexicans that took the responsility of taking part of the election process very serously. I know I did.

Posted by: MexInMex | July 6, 2006 04:31 PM

Google this: Brennan Center Task Force.
If you think this was a fair election, then you deserve what you get.

Posted by: bonaroo | July 6, 2006 04:42 PM

Below is an excerpt from today's New York Times.

It is true that there will be some mistakes in any manual count. In a fair count this is not a problem because the mistakes are random and ultimately affect all parties roughly equally. It is when the mistakes are not random but constitute instead a pattern to the advantage of one candidate and to the detriment of another that a problem arises. Such a pattern can only occur through fraud. The purpose of a recount in this case would be to ensure that no such pattern exists in the vote count and, in the event that such a pattern does exist, to make the necessary corrections.

I have not seen anything to indicate that the PRD is planning civil disobedience on Saturday. However, it is worth bearing in mind that civil disobedience is an important part of the democratic tradition. It's what kicked the British out of India and won African-Americans the right to vote in the United States.

---------------------------

Visits to a few district offices in the industrial city of Guadalajara, a stronghold of Mr. Calderón's National Action Party, offered a glimpse of the tensions in the process, and the potential for errors and irregularities in the initial tabulation.

Six ballot boxes were opened for a recount in District 8 because of errors on the tally sheets. In every case, the preliminary tallies turned out to be wrong.

In one case, polling workers had miscounted so badly that they gave 100 extra votes to a third candidate, Roberto Madrazo of the Institutional Revolutionary Party, and doubled the 235 votes for Mr. Calderón. Mr. López Obrador's count was not affected.

"They should open them all because in the six they opened, there were problems," said Francisco Mares, a 25-year-old lawyer who represented Mr. López Obrador's party at the district.

At District 11, another representative for Mr. López Obrador, Rocio Miranda Luévanos, demanded a recount every time results from a new tally sheet were read. But the chairman of the board refused.

Then, the board found a flaw on one of the tally sheets, and the board chairman ordered the box opened.

The secretary of the seven-member board tore open the envelope and extracted the brown-rimmed ballots. He separated them into piles on a small table as the board members and party representatives crowded around him.

The ballots bore the fingerprints of Mexico's burgeoning, if messy, democracy. The voters had made their marks with black crayons in any variety of ways -- huge smeared crosses, neat checks, circles, smudges.

The secretary, Salvador de la Mora, counted the ballots one by one in each pile. Mr. López Obrador picked up six votes. Mr. Calderón lost one. Mr. Madrazo lost 14 votes.

Supporters of Mr. López Obrador, who had demanded all the votes be recounted, shook their heads.

Posted by: Scott | July 6, 2006 05:11 PM

Google this: If you lose, it must be a conspiracy.

Posted by: Che is Dead! | July 6, 2006 05:12 PM

MexinMex:

"What is the point of doing a vote by vote count? That was done on sunday, remember? Manual vote counts are inexact, by nature..." Bingo! Thanks for providing a rationale for the vote by vote recount...

Che is Dead!: When cornered, change the subject...

Posted by: pasilla | July 6, 2006 05:21 PM

Pasilla, you forgot to call me a racist and Evil. Someone already took care of the, anyone but a leftist is undemocratic. Anything to avoid the election laws which say no ballot by ballot recount. FYI, cnn.com announcement that the IFE has declared Calderon the next president. The only way to the presidency now is by force. Not that the left has any problems with using force.

Posted by: Che is Dead! | July 6, 2006 05:31 PM

Having lost twice, AMLO is going to protest. The problem here is that in Mexico City, he won the vast majority of the votes, so he will have no trouble getting the macheteros of Atenco, the CGH, the Zapatista wannabes and others out into the street. But, in the country as a whole, no less than 65% of Mexicans voted against him (in the productive north, it is more like 80%). Who does he think is going to support his ridiculous protests?

Posted by: Jerry Bourbon | July 6, 2006 05:36 PM

More importantly, if, by some miracle, his thugs manage to intimidate the TRIFE, will the northern states accept this???

Posted by: Jerry Bourbon | July 6, 2006 05:39 PM

Here are the results in the states that border the US of A:

Baja California Calderon 47% AMLO 23%
Sonora Calderon 50.5%, AMLO 25%
Chihuahua Calderon 46% AMLO 18%
Coahuila Calderon 44% AMLO 24%
Nuevo Leon Calderon 49% AMLO 16% (ouch!)
Tamaulipas Calderon 42% AMLO 27%

In Chihuahua, Coahuila and NL, AMLO did not finish second, he finished THIRD.

Posted by: Jerry Bourbon | July 6, 2006 05:47 PM

At the same time, in Tabasco (AMLO's home state), we are supposed to believe there was no fraud at all, with official results showing the following:
AMLO 56%
PRI 38%
Calderon 3.63%,
all on an alleged 68% turnout, almost ten points higher than the national average??????
NO ONE gets 3.63% when they have had massive publicity for the proceeding six months.

Posted by: Jerry Bourbon | July 6, 2006 05:51 PM

Obredor warned of "instability" if he did not win the election. He vowed to "defend his triumph". Now he's calling for a rally on Saturday. It's reasonable to speculate that he intends to provoke more than peaceful protest - even if he does not explicitely call for riots.

In the two cases cited above, the Indian people and the Afro-Americans used non-violence to accomplish their goals. PRD is not preaching non-violence in this situation. They are using strong language that they know will inflame their followers.


Posted by: Greg | July 6, 2006 05:58 PM

For Pete's sake, Jerry Bourbon!

"AMLO 56%
PRI 38%
Calderon 3.63%,
all on an alleged 68% turnout, almost ten points higher than the national average??????
NO ONE gets 3.63% when they have had massive publicity for the proceeding six months."

This is blatant lack of familiarity with Mexico's history and politics. How to begin? Lopez Obrador and Madrazo were both born in the state; Madrazo, from the PRI, was in fact born in the Governor's house; his father was a famous Governor of the state; he himself was governor of the state. Tabasco is historicaly anticlerical (Google, for example: Tomas Garrido Canabal); the PAN is asociated with the catholic church; lately, with the extreme fundamentalism (Google: El Yunque). What the heck is wrong with the percentajes? I guess there is some people who relishes in showing their ignorance...

Posted by: pasilla | July 6, 2006 06:17 PM

Che is Dead!

Wrong again! The only authority who can give the certificate of President Elect is the Federal Electoral Tribunal. Check your facts before babbling

Posted by: pasilla | July 6, 2006 06:20 PM

Are you suggesting that the will of voters in the northern states is more valid than the will of voters in the south? Is this because, in your view, the north is more "productive"? Perhaps Mexico should have a voting system where the votes of people in the border states count as two votes while those of everyone else count as one. Or perhaps people should be granted voting rights on the basis not of their citizenship, but of their degree of "productivity."

By the way, according to the official results, 64.12% of Mexicans voted against Calderon. Do you really mean to suggest that a margin of 200,000 votes, in a nation of more than 100 million people, means that Calderon enjoys broad support while no one is for Lopez Obrador save a few rabble rousers?

Once again, folks, in a democracy, people have the right to protest. By equating lawful demonstrations with unlawful violence you reveal your contempt for democratic rights. Lopez Obrador has done nothing, and said nothing, that can be construed as an incitement to violence. You can speculate all you like, but this doesn't change the fact that when hundreds of thousands of Mexicans stand in protect with Lopez Obrador on Saturday, they will be exercising rights fully consistent both with Mexican law and democratic tradition. Democracy is not limited to what happens once every few years in a voting booth.

Posted by: Scott | July 6, 2006 06:34 PM

As a Mexican living in the US, the truth is as clear as day. Calderon brought in American consultants to engineer this election on his behalf and attempt to win the election on fear and reverse logic. Calling AMLO a demogouge was like Bush's people making Kerry out to be the unpatriotic one. Backwards! This is not '88 Cardenas - Salinas de Gortari. True democracy will be felt this time and Mexico will be better for it!

Posted by: PRDista en CA | July 6, 2006 06:39 PM

I respect AMLO for standing up and demanding that every vote be counted.

And.. at least Mexico still has the original paper votes to count.

Unfortunately we in the U.S.A. accepted the fraud in our past two elections (too bad Gore and Kerry didn't have some of AMLO's spine).. and so we now have our American democracy on the verge of being completely erased, clicked away and deleted to a digital bit-bucket, one designed specifically to be non-transparent, non-secure, and non-verifiable... our new voting machines designed by Diebold Corporation, a major Republican Party contributor... but you probably already guessed that.

Posted by: DoDi | July 6, 2006 06:41 PM

When Obrador lost an election for Governor of Tabasco, he incited violent protest and tried to close the state government down. He has also in the past led protests that closed down businesses and institutions, including Pemex. He does have a history on violent protest and so it is reasonable to expect that he will use such methods again.

Here in the North of Mexico people are aggrieved to see so many of their taxes used to subsidize the people in the South.
No one gave the North a stronger economy, people developed it through am embrace of modernity and progressive policies.

The people here support PAN and free markets because they know that they can compete globally with any country, and that PAN's investment friendly policies will eventually bring in the capital investment necessary to finance small and medium business here.
Obrador will deliver ruin to any such opportunity.

Posted by: Greg | July 6, 2006 06:51 PM

Dear Mexican electorate,

Here's some good advice we have from our founding fathers, and heck, we ain't using it so it's available if you want it:

"Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security."

Posted by: DoDi | July 6, 2006 07:05 PM

The PAN has held the presidency for 6 years during which the majority of their initiatives have been blocked by the PRI and PRD in Congress. It was the PAN that defeated the PRI machine after decades of hard work. In spite of the obstructionism, the economy is more stable and the middle class has grown steadily. Fixing an economy that has been mismanaged for decades will not come quickly. There is no quick fix. But at least we are on the right path.

The PRD was created by Priistas in 1988. Many of Obrador's advisors were part of previous PRI administrations, such as Lopez Portillo, who ruined the economy in the 80's and Carlos Salinas Gortari, who ruined it in the 90's.

Electing him would be like throwing out the American founding fathers and returning to King George.

Posted by: Greg | July 6, 2006 07:24 PM

Pasilla, "Extreme Fundamentalism"?? What world do you live on? The PAN is pro Catholic, and "fundamentalism", in Mexico and abroad is associated much more with evangelicals than Catholics. The only fundamentalists I see in Tijuana are the irritating ones who knock on my door on Sundays when I am hungover and try to save my soul. They are neither Catholic or PANista.

I was wondering when someone would mention El Yunque, what is an election without a conspiracy theory. Does this mean that the conspiracy theory that the Jews are controlling the election because Jorge Castaneda is Jewish is now invalid? What will the next conspiracy be? The trilateral commission?

As to what is wrong with the percentages, 3.63% is almost statistically impossible. Even Mickey Mouse would have gotten that, with compensate advertising exposure. You can be sure if AMLO had been reported as winning only 3.63% in, say Baja California, he would have (rightly) raised hell.

Posted by: | July 6, 2006 07:30 PM

OOPS I should put my name here, shouldn't I?


Pasilla, "Extreme Fundamentalism"?? What world do you live on? The PAN is pro Catholic, and "fundamentalism", in Mexico and abroad is associated much more with evangelicals than Catholics. The only fundamentalists I see in Tijuana are the irritating ones who knock on my door on Sundays when I am hungover and try to save my soul. They are neither Catholic or PANista.

I was wondering when someone would mention El Yunque, what is an election without a conspiracy theory. Does this mean that the conspiracy theory that the Jews are controlling the election because Jorge Castaneda is Jewish is now invalid? What will the next conspiracy be? The trilateral commission?

As to what is wrong with the percentages, 3.63% is almost statistically impossible. Even Mickey Mouse would have gotten that, with compensate advertising exposure. You can be sure if AMLO had been reported as winning only 3.63% in, say Baja California, he would have (rightly) raised hell.

Posted by: Jerry Bourbon | July 6, 2006 07:35 PM

The election was legal, there was no fraud, all the election was in hands of Mexican citizens, The IFE it's an Institution runned by citizens NOT Government, People simply can't cheat on people, It would be a titanic effort to buy thousands of volunteers to make such a big fraud, It's simply impossible to cheat.


Posted by: Oli Quintanilla | July 6, 2006 08:55 PM

couldn't even vote... people showed up at polls that opened late and didn't have enough ballots... waiting in line for hours and hours, etc.

It happened just like Florida.

These reports unfortunately are not being reported in the U.S. press... but the Mexican people know what happened and know that the election was stolen.

This was not just in a few states.. which is what happened in the U.S. elections.. but the fraud was all across the country.

For those who think that such massive fraud is impossible in Mexico... well, haha... then I guess that PRI had a really really amazing 70 yr winning streak.

Posted by: Lots of people | July 6, 2006 09:19 PM

Hey Lots of people,
You forgot that the KKK was intimidating the voters. Ha ha ha. It's a conpiracy I tell you.

Posted by: Che is Dead! | July 6, 2006 10:30 PM

Looks like Hugo Chavez is going to try and interject himself in another country's election.

From El Nacional in Venezuela:

Diputados venezolanos denuncian irregularidades en elecciones mexicanas

The last time Chavez tried this, in Peru, it created a nationalist backlash. AMLO better call Hugo and tell him to mind his own business!

Posted by: RC | July 6, 2006 10:35 PM

Lots of People, you know very little about the election process in Mexico. The polling places that ran out of ballots were (only) the "special" polling places for people who were out of their normal voting precint. Like in the US of A, in Mexico, you should vote where you live. There are no absentee ballots. If you are travelling, you may use a "special" polling place, many of which were set up in the border cities, so Mexicans living in the US could come vote. By agreement with ALL (repeat ALL. Get it? ALL) political parties, most definitely including the refounded PRI known as the PRD, these stations were only supplied with 750 ballots each. This was to prevent fraud, and again, was agreed to by everyone, including the PRD. In every election they have been used, they run out of ballots, this is no surprise. If the PRD did not like it, they should not have agreed to the 750 ballot limit. Since they did agree, they have no reason to whine about it now.

Posted by: Jerry Bourbon | July 6, 2006 10:47 PM

To the person who asked where was the evidence of vote buying, I recommend this article from the June 26 Washington Post: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/06/25/AR2006062500790.html

To Goyo, the allegation that teachers' unions support the PRD is news to me and I think to lot of others. The leader of the SNTE, Elba Esther Gordillo, is a long-time leader of the PRI and rival of Madrazo for its presidency; she is accused of being close to Fox and Martha Sahagun, and she is the force behind the founding of the PANAL. In other words, she is closely tied to almost every party in the race BUT the PRD.

Posted by: Ben Davis | July 6, 2006 10:48 PM

News Flash! The KKK and El Yunque are meeting with the Pope to figure out how to manipulate the PREP!

Posted by: Jerry Bourbon | July 6, 2006 10:54 PM

Jerry Bourbon, you are not even funny; you believe that repeating the same lies and half truths, they will become full truths. I'm certain that many of the readers don't get tricked by your smoke and mirrors. Yes, Lopez Obrador was briefly a member of PRI, as Alfonso Durazo, former close assistant to President Fox was, as the PAN candidate for the government of Mexico City was. Besides, PRD has more complexity than your limited mind can grasp. Heberto Castillo was another founder of PRD, and former progressists from a diversity of left movements also decided to become a unified party; not EVERYBODY was a former member of the PRI. Concerning religious extremism and El Yunque, everybody can easily agree that zealots can come from any religion; and for those interested in this shaddy organization, there it is the serious investigation by Alvaro Delgado. Again, History is there for anybody to see. PAN was founded in 1939 by Manuel Gomez Morin to oppose the "socialization" of Mexican society pushed by the forerunner of PRI. The father of Felipe Calderon was regarded as a sort of party "founder," and he resigned his membership because the current PAN quadres had betrayed the original ideas. Here it is, Jerry; facts, not frivolous propaganda.

Posted by: pasilla | July 6, 2006 11:34 PM

I just don't get it...What is the PAN so afraid of if they are so sure they have won the elections? Let's do the recount vote by vote and get it done with. After all, el que nada debe, nada teme. Or not?

Posted by: Resendez | July 6, 2006 11:35 PM

Pasilla: Would you rather vote for a party a few of whose founders 67 years ago were cristeros or other clerical zealots, and which certainly has a very few loony members today, or would you prefer a party made up almost entirely of PRI dinosaurs, and which is supported by every crazy left group in Mexico today? Zapatistas, Atenquistas, CGH, Antorchistas, circulos bolivarianos, they are all there, in the PRD.

If your idol AMLO had any pantalones, he would demand a runoff, just him and Calderon. And Mexican society would soundly reject him.

Posted by: Jerry Bourbon | July 7, 2006 12:03 AM

Zapatistas in the PRD? Demand a runoff? Again, Jerry, you are hopeless... It's a waste of my time engaging in a discussion with you.

Posted by: pasilla | July 7, 2006 01:14 AM

Where are the zapatistas? In the PAN? I do not think so. As to all the other groups I mentioned, if they are not natural sympathizers to the PRD, please advise me as to what party YOU think they voted for. Some how I do not think they are quite Felipe Calderon's type of voters.

As to a discussion, there is nothing to discuss. Calderon won. AMLO lost. Get over it.

Posted by: Jerry Bourbon | July 7, 2006 01:29 AM

In two the last elections, there were was widespread evidence of fraud in the USA. The exit polls predicted a democratic victory, and where there was a paper ballot, the exit polls agreed with the ballots, but where there was electronic voting only, the exit polls failed badly. I fear that Canada is the only country in North America that has a truely democratically elected government. If the Mexican electoral authorities refuse a vote by vote recount, that will be confirming the suspicions of millions of people in Mexico, and sceptics like me, that the election was won by fraud, and they will setting in motion a process where the poor and dispossessed will turn their backs on democracy.

Posted by: Duncan Munro | July 7, 2006 02:14 AM

if you can think do it

Posted by: | July 7, 2006 02:58 AM

at least try it just think by your self you are going to feel alive
regards kids some yesterday remember

Posted by: | July 7, 2006 03:04 AM

democracy itself calls for the recall what fear could there possibly be to getting it right bush truly was awarded an election he truly did not deserve and 6 years latter we are still paying the price for the lie.go forward all of mexico and seek and live with the final outcome

Posted by: lpd | July 7, 2006 05:54 AM

"In two the last elections, there were was widespread evidence of fraud in the USA."

No, there wasn't. Where it up to me, the USSC would not have involved itself in the 2000 election, but the court's involvement was not fraud nor is there any credible evidedence of fraud.

Posted by: RC | July 7, 2006 09:01 AM

Mexico should consider having a run-off election in the future.

Posted by: RC | July 7, 2006 09:03 AM

The obsession many feel about the 2000 Presidential election in the USA is interesting, and understanding it helps in understanding one of the reasons liberals/leftists lose elections. In part, they lose because the electorate loves an underdog, but detests a natural born loser, and people who wallow in victimhood are losers.

If you think something or someone robs you of an election, you get a twofold benefit: 1) you don't have to actually test your ideas against reality, so they retain their conceptual luster and 2) you can assure yourself that the people really, really liked you, but dark and sinister forces thwarted their will. Thus, such a person does not develop, does not adapt. They just scream their already repudiated views a little louder and so make the reasons they were rejected even more apparent.

Posted by: Greg | July 7, 2006 09:53 AM

"If you think something or someone robs you of an election, you get a twofold benefit: 1) you don't have to actually test your ideas against reality, so they retain their conceptual luster and 2) you can assure yourself that the people really, really liked you, but dark and sinister forces thwarted their will. Thus, such a person does not develop, does not adapt. They just scream their already repudiated views a little louder and so make the reasons they were rejected even more apparent."

So you are saying that Lopez Obrador is glad he lost, because now his ideas won't have to be tested? In that case, you and your ilk should thwart his nefarious designs by demanding that the results be overturned and AMLO installed as Presidente. That way, his ideas will be tested and, no doubt, lose "their conceptual luster." Then the PAN and its ideology can reign unchallenged for ever more.

Posted by: Scott | July 7, 2006 10:24 AM

Whatever you say, Greg. During two presidential periods, when the US government was ran according to our "untested" theories, the federal budget reached a surplus. Now, after a little less than 6 years of governing with the fool-proof theories that you embrace, we suffer a horrific deficit, never mind the holier-than-thou attitude that has ensured our alienation from the rest of the world, amidst an extremely volatile international situation. I guess true is optional in the discourse of the right. There are natural born losers who are successfully proped-up into public office by big money. The "obscure forces" are not so obscure, after all. I notice also that you use the word "develop," perhaps to avoid the of use of the sacrilegeous "evolve." If I were not already convinced of his non-existence, some conversations would provide perfect support to the idea that "the intelligent designer" is not so intelligent when dealing with human minds.

Posted by: pasilla | July 7, 2006 10:28 AM

The Clinton Presidency thrived by budget cutting (as in the Welfare Reform) and targeted tax cuts, which were coincident with the growth of the technology sector. Bill governed with Republican principles while keeping the Democrats happy with rhetoric.

The American economy is strong, steady and remains the envy of the world - and that envy is the root cause of the discontent some counties and people have with America, by the way. Many countries, like France, realize they are fading and resent their eclipse by a more vigorous people.

And, more importantly, because of the aggressive way America has gone after terrorists and their state sponsors, there has been no follow up attack in 5 years.

Posted by: Greg | July 7, 2006 11:05 AM

Scott, we'll know the answer to your question very soon. If Obrador accepts the election's results and 1) modifies his proposals so as to gain more support in future elections and 2) refrains from causing societal disturbances and instability so as to appear responsible and statesman-like, he has an excellent chance to come back in 6 years and win the Presidency.

If he doesn't change, if he causes instability, if he attempts to set up a "shadow" government as he did in Tabasco when he lost the governor's race, he will destroy his future viability within the system. So, then he will have chosen victimhood. Then we will know him in full.

Posted by: Greg | July 7, 2006 11:14 AM

I wouldn't assume the election is over. Based on everything I've read and heard, I'm confident that the PRD will be able to present a compelling and well-documented case to the Electoral Tribunal that there were problems with the vote count and that a partial or total recount, ballot-by-ballot, is essential to ensure the integrity of the election. What the Tribunal will do is anyone's guess, but ordering a recount may well appear to be a reasonable and relatively politically safe choice.

Also, I find it odd that a candidate's defeat by one half of one percent of the vote is interpeted as a repudiation of that candidate's ideas and program. A few votes can make the difference in determining who assumes office, but a few votes do not imply a broad political embrace of the winner's ideas nor a broad rejection of the losers. Given that nearly two-thirds of Mexicans voted against Calderon, would you agree that his ideas were also roundly rejected and that he should "modify his proposals to gain more support in future elections"?

Posted by: Scott | July 7, 2006 11:27 AM

Felipe Calderon has invited the opposing parties to join PAN in a collaborative effort to improve the lives of all Mexicans. He specifically invited Obrador to join his cabinet. Doing so, he recognizes that his win was not an overwhelming mandate, and that he must adapt in order to meet the expectations of the electorate.

Obrador's ideas will not be repudiated because he loses this election. They resonate right now with many people obviously. But if he does not adapt those ideas, he will demonstrate an inflexibility in the face of a loss, and that failure to adapt will be the cause of further rejection.

Posted by: Greg | July 7, 2006 11:43 AM

I'm not sure inviting your opponent to join your cabinet in the midst of a heated dispute over the results of the election, and before those results are certified, is an act of political inclusiveness. Indeed, Calderon extended this invitation even before the official count was done. The offer was merely one element of the posturing both sides have been engaged in to influence public perceptions about the election and whether the result is legitimate and final. It's rather like Bush in 2000, in the midst of the Florida dedacle, convening meetings in Austin to discuss cabinet choices and then inviting the media to watch. You can't really blame him for doing it, but it certainly wasn't motivated by an urgent need to make cabinet appointments, which, in any case, he had no power to make for some months to come.

A collaborative effort to improve the lives of all Mexicans would be a very lovely thing indeed, but you are being rather naive if you really think this is what Calderon and the PAN have in mind. Mexico is a deeply divided country and this election was, more than anything else, a battle betweeen social classes. The constituencies the PAN represents have never shown themselves to be much interested in the plight of the poor. I don't see any reason to think that this is about to change.

Posted by: Scott | July 7, 2006 12:08 PM

It is important to realize that PAN is a reformist government. It was PAN that fought against the PRI's stranglehold on government and ultimately forced it to yield. Panista's did this through the system, methodically, over decades. The PAN should not be confused with the PRI. It is not a cynical party nor is it power hungry for its own sake.

PAN endured election after election of loses for the presidency without becoming a radicalized party and without giving up hope. Had PAN lost this election, it would have accepted the results with equanimity, and worked hard to win the next one. Calderon's proposal for reconcilliation is the move of a genuinely inclusive party that wants the best for the country.

Meet some Panistas and I think you will discover that they are for the most part idealistic people with a strong commitment to justice.

Posted by: Greg | July 7, 2006 12:23 PM

Wow, my "rant" seems to have gotten everybody's blood up.

Looking back, I have to admit I was being a little provocative. It is true the teachers' unions are not all PRD, but they are pretty much leftists and there is a reason any Mexican with the money to afford it sends his kids to a private school. Saying the unions are with the PRI doesn't impress me much because I see the PRI and the PRD in much the same light.

The PAN is the party of reform and prosperity. The PAN programs, if enacted, would lift Mexico's economy, modernize its industry and provide better-paying jobs for the people who now look north for work.

I must also apologize for suggesting that PRD members are ignorant and uneducated. In fact, there are some very well educated people around AMLO. The intellectual elites, who are almost all leftists, are big AMLO supporters as well. But those people don't represent much in terms of votes and they aren't the people who are going to go out in the streets when Andres Manuel decides it is time for bloodshed.

The poor people in el campo and in the slums, many of whom look to AMLO as a saviour, are, through no fault of their own, ill educated and easily swayed by populist rhetoric. I do not wish to be misunderstood on this. I have respect for those people and I understand how they see the world. They have been screwed by the system and it is true that many in the business elite, who support PAN, don't give a damn about the poor. They would rather have low wages and let the excess labor force go north of the border, even though the illegal influx produces strain with the northern neighbor.

My point is that just because people are poor and feel oppressed does not mean they are making the right choice when they vote for a Chavez, a Morales or a Lopez Obrador. The left here in Mexico objects to comparisons with Chavez and, it is true, there are some major differences, but the populist idea of redistributing wealth is the same. Handing out money to people does not make them less poor. That is not a long-term solution. Scaring away investment and driving more jobs to China will only make matters worse.

That is why I am glad Calderon won.

Posted by: Goyo | July 7, 2006 01:22 PM

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