[Marxism] López Obrador Urges Mexicans to Press Vote Protest

Walter Lippmann walterlx at earthlink.net
Mon Jul 17 04:08:04 MDT 2006

Here's the GRANMA daily report in Spanish. The translation to
English will be posted later once we receive them. As to the
absence of Cardenas yesterday, I have no information, since
Cauhetemoc didn't contact me to expain his absence, but here
we are seeing a fight being put on to overturn the stolen
election, while Cardenas didn't put on a fight when he had 
his own election stolen out from under him. The struggle is
continuing now. The stakes are increasing with each passing
day. The sides are clear and the importance of winning this
fight for the right to an honest vote increases every day.

July 17, 2006

López Obrador Urges Mexicans to Press Vote Protest

July 17, 2006; Page A2

MEXICO CITY -- Populist presidential candidate Andrés Manuel López
Obrador ratcheted up pressure on the country's election authorities
by calling on hundreds of thousands of Mexicans in the capital's
central square to engage in a campaign of peaceful civic

"We can't accept that a group of privileged ones, using their money
and dirty dealings, put an illegitimate president in office," said
Mr. López Obrador to the crowd, which city police officials --
considered sympathetic to the candidate -- estimated at 1.1 million.
Reuters news service estimated the crowd at more than 200,000.
Mexico's "economic, political and social stability" depends on
Mexico's electoral court ordering a recount, which would confirm him
as president, Mr. López Obrador said.

Mr. López Obrador is in a legal and political battle with the
election's first-place finisher, Felipe Calderón. The country's
seven-person electoral court, known as the TRIFE, has until the end
of August to rule on Mr. López Obrador's demands for a full recount
and has a number of options: rejecting the López Obrador petitions,
ordering a partial recount or annulling the election. The third,
while highly unlikely, would require Congress to name an interim
president after President Vicente Fox steps down in December. New
elections would be held within 18 months.

Both sides are trying to sway public opinion and put pressure on the
court. Mr. Calderón has been working to assemble a majority coalition
in Congress, to give the appearance that he is already governing. His
conservative National Action Party, or PAN, has called on the TRIFE
not to be influenced by the "blackmail and personal whims" of Mr.
López Obrador. The PAN also is distributing thousands of white
ribbons which say "Mexico wants to live in peace."

Mr. López Obrador has raised the threat that the nation would be
ungovernable unless he takes office. He plans another rally in two
weeks and has said that even if a vote recount confirms Mr.
Calderón's victory, he won't recognize his rival as a legitimate
president -- a stance that plays well with his most committed

"A fraud has been committed, and we must defend our votes," said
Miguel Perez, a 44-year-old special-education teacher from the state
of Veracruz carrying a coffin labeled "democracy." Many people in the
square pledged to continue with protests even if the electoral court
ruled against Mr. López Obrador. "People are mobilized; the
mobilizations will continue," said Linda Esparsa, a psychology

But his tactics could backfire by alienating the two-thirds of the
electorate that voted for Mr. Calderón and other candidates.
According to a telephone poll by the Mexico City newspaper Reforma,
60% of Mexicans said they didn't want a recount, compared with 37%
who backed Mr. López Obrador's proposal. Sixty percent of those
polled also believed the election results, as counted by electoral
authorities, were trustworthy, while 75% of respondents said they
believed that election authorities were impartial. The poll's margin
of error is plus or minus four percentage points.

Another telephone poll taken last week by Beltran & Asociados, said
69% of Mexicans disagreed with Mr. López Obrador's call for
mobilizations before the TRIFE's ruling.

Mr. López Obrador also faces some loss of support from leaders in his
party. Absent from the podium at yesterday's rally were governors of
two of the five states ruled by Mr. López Obrador's Party of the
Democratic Revolution. The party's founder and leader, Cuauhtemoc
Cardenas, also stayed away.

Over coming weeks, many of the PRD's newly elected deputies and
senators could part company with Mr. López Obrador, because they may
not want a recount that could jeopardize their new positions.

Since the election, Mr. López Obrador has kept up a campaign to
overturn election results by leaking videotapes and documents
purporting to show fraud and attacking the reputation of Mexico's
respected electoral authorities. But according to the Beltran poll,
61% of respondents said they didn't believe the evidence provided by
Mr. López Obrador proved his fraud allegations.

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