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ORIGINAL FRENCH ARTICLE: http://www.humanite.fr/journal/2006...

by WORLD

Mexico: Revolt sprouts from a Political Crisis

Translated Tuesday 5 September 2006, by Allen G Harris Jr.

In Mexico, a court has confirmed the rightwing lead in the presidential elections despite irregularities

Two presidents, one presidency. This grotesque scenario could be the outcome of the political and legal crisis which has held Mexico in suspense since the results of the July 2 general elections were announced. The federal electoral court decided to recount only 9 percent of the contested ballot boxes and confirmed the slim lead of Felipe Calderon, candidate of the conservative National Action Party (PAN). His main leftwing rival, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador of the Democratic Revolution Party (PRD) has not conceded defeat. The former mayor of Mexico City, nicknamed AMLO, has pressed ahead with his “civic resistance” campaign in the form of a giant tent city in the heart of the Mexican capital.

Since July 30, this mass movement has set up its bases and also squatted symbolically in Zocalo Plaza in order to denounce balloting that was stained by numerous irregularities. Film screenings, mini-demonstrations and daily speeches by AMLO punctuate the daily activities of the sympathisers of the coalition called “For the Good of All,” of which the PRD is a member. The party officially came in second with only 0.6 percent fewer votes than the PAN. “The court validated fraud and threw its support to the delinquents who stole the election from us,” said Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador in a speech to a partisan crowd on August 28. He added: “The seven judges are accomplices.” According to him, they are accomplices of the rightwing in power and of the media outlets which for weeks have poured out a torrent of criticism and disdain against the stand taken by AMLO and his supporters.

The leftwing candidate views the latest decision as a “coup d’etat.” A grave accusation matching the crushed hopes of the “For the Good of All” coalition, which expected the court to carry out a recount of the Mexican people’s vote “ballot by ballot” and “polling place by polling place.”

The court must certify by September 6 the regularity of the balloting and proclaim the winner. If it is given that Calderon will replace Vicente Fox as president, the court cannot overlook the division of a country in which the left has organised two massive protest demonstrations a million strong, a continuous occupation of the capital as well as an upcoming “democratic national convention” on September 16 in which a million Mexicans are expected to attend. AMLO has warned that it could designate a “resistance head of government who will have the task of organising social protest,” as provided by Article 39 of the Constitution stipulating the people’s right to change the form of their government.

While President Fox is expected to issue the traditional “cry of independence” on September 15 inaugurating the national holiday, the police remain on alert. AMLO’s sympathisers promise that the convention will not disrupt the traditional military parade.

But the risks are there. The obstinacy of the “For the Good of All” coalition could very quickly transform itself into open-ended opposition. The rightwing in power could launch an assault leaving blood in its wake. Whatever the outcome, the Mexican presidential election has revealed the obsolescence of the nation’s institutions and the lack of democracy under the rule of local oligarchies.

Cathy Ceïbe


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