USA Today reported as of about 7:30 PM on Sunday that he was heading toward the Supreme Court (La Corta Suprema de Justicia) “to file purported evidence of fraud that he hoped would overturn his conservative rival’s razor-thin preliminary victory.”
He still hopes that another recount will show irregularities in the vote that would overturn his hairbreadth loss in the 2 July vote. The legal attempt is not, now, to overturn the vote but to force another recount “vote by vote” of all 41 million votes. The win was by 244,000 votes or 0.6% of the vote.
Mexico has a tradition of election irregularities from the days before Ernesto Zedillo and Vincente Fox. These irregularities were so strong that they could have competed with Chicago under 26 years of Mayor Richard Daley and Albany, New York under the 42 year machine reign of Erastus Corning.
One has to wonder what would have happened if Al Gore had made them count each vote one by one. We were not living in the US then and did not have the internet (not even telephone lines on our road outside the little pueblo where we live) so I never did understand what happened with that first Bush win by a few votes in a state run by his brother.
Obrador has attacked the highly respected IFE, the Federal Electoral Institute. USA Today writes that “… he accused the respected Federal Electoral Institute, held up as an example to emerging democracies around the world, of being a ‘pawn of the party of the right.’”
The heads of state of a growing number of countries, including the USA, Canada, Spain, and Columbia have already called to congratulate (thereby recognizing) President-Elect Felipe Calderon.
Sunday the IFE will also be announcing the makeup of the Mexican Congress. It appears now that the P.A.N. will receive 210 in the lower house, PRD/PT (Obrador’s party) 163 seats and P.R.I. 113 seats.
The speculation about what Calderon will do to “help” US interests, what will happen to business and the peso/dollar exchange, whether Lopez Obrador was a “this” or a “that” and what will happen to the U.S. – Mexican relationship over the next two years (when we are rid of Bush) and the next 6 years under Calderon; pale in comparison to the earthquake-like changes taking place just south of the border. When we moved here 8 years ago P.R.I. was solidly in power for the past 70+ years. P.T. and P.R.D. were separate and, together, could show little real power.
I am not Mexican and cannot really comment nor explain the politics of another’s country with a long and complex history. But it is easy to see that this is not the Mexico of unchanging tradition and mañana arrangements. Things are happening. They are happening faster and faster and it is an opportunity for the United States to come play nice in Latin America. These are our neighbors, our southern playground, our business partners and it will not be enough to just build a wall and ignore Latin America from Mexico to Chile. They are not the same places nor do they share the same interests. Mexico is not Costa Rica let alone Venezuela and Argentina. Even the Spanish is differest in each country as are the politics and the demographics. It is time to use our intelligence rather than our intelligence community to forge strong ties with those who are going to be our neighbors whether or not they are our friends.