Mexico: democracy rising


Richard Moore

Original source URL:

'Siege' warning to Mexico rival

Supporters of Mexico's left-wing presidential candidate have pledged to place 
his rival "under siege" if he is declared winner of the disputed poll.

A spokesman for Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador's party said Felipe Calderon would 
not be able to operate outside his office if he was made president.

Mr Lopez Obrador disputes the official results which give a narrow victory to 
his rival and wants a full recount.

A partial recount has been completed, but the results are not yet known.

Election officials have until 6 September to declare a president-elect or annul 
the election.

If declared the victor, Mr Calderon "will be a president under siege... he will 
not be able to operate outside his office", said Gerardo Fernandez, of the 
left-wing Democratic Revolution Party (PRD).

Protesters have also pledged to disrupt outgoing President Vicente Fox's last 
state-of-the-nation address on 1 September. The day "will not be a picnic", Mr 
Fernandez said.

Mr Lopez Obrador's supporters clashed with police outside the Congress building 
on Tuesday, for the first time since they began camping out in Mexico City in 
protest at the election result.

At least eight people were injured in the scuffles which only lasted a few 
minutes but saw police use batons and teargas to break up the crowd.

Federal police have denied accusations that they were heavy-handed.

Mr Lopez Obrador has alleged fraud after losing by some 240,000 votes, and has 
called for a full recount of the 41 million votes cast in the 2 July poll.

Earlier this week, Mr Calderon - the candidate of President Fox's National 
Action Party - said he was confident the court-imposed recount of votes from 9% 
of polling centres would confirm his win.

Mr Fox has said he will take all the necessary actions to ensure that whoever is
declared president-elect in September is allowed to assume power.

Story from BBC NEWS:

Published: 2006/08/16 07:44:19 GMT


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