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Lopez Obrador Heads to Supreme Court For Another Recount

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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.

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About hfdratch

  • Brian

    For your information, there has been no recount of the mexican votes.Here is http://www.narconews.com with an enlightening comment:

    ‘The truth: No recount occurred on Wednesday, or before, or since. What occurred – we repeat – was only the first official count of precinct tallies.

    A Narco News investigation has found that in the small sample of precincts – less than one percent – where a recount was allowed, the shift in numbers away from Calderón was so drastic that, if recounts of all the ballots followed the same trend, the official results would invert and Andrés Manuel López Obrador would become the clear winner of the presidency by more than one million votes:

    Narconews also stipulates that Mexican law DEMANDS a recount: ‘The Constitution Requires a Full Recount Article 41 of the Mexican Constitution states:

    “The people exercises its sovereignty through the Powers of the Union, in cases of their responsibility, and through those of the States, regarding their internal regimens, in the respective terms established by the present Federal Constitution and those of the States, which in no case may contradict the stipulations of the Federal Pact…

    “III. The organization of federal elections is a responsibility of the State that is conducted by a public, autonomous agency named the Federal Electoral Institute, provided with legal power and its own resources, in whose formation the Legislative Branch, the national political parties and the citizens participate under the terms provided by law. In the exercise of this governmental function, certainty, legality, independence, impartiality, and objectivity are the guiding principles…”

    This article requires, among other things, that the government provide “certainty” as to election results (as well as “legality” and “impartiality”). The mere existence of widespread public uncertainty (as well as illegal and biased activity by the IFE) provides the supreme electoral Tribunal with absolute legal grounds to reassert conditions that would restore public certainty. The Trife therefore has the power, and responsibility, to require a recount as the obvious and only means to restore that certainty.
    (ditto)

  • http://bacalar.blogspot.com Howard Dratch

    Thanks for the link and notice of “The Narco News Bulletin”. Your comment and those on the “Narco News” are interesting. It would not, as they say, be the first time the commercial media/ main-stream media are wrong. However, I hesitate to totally put my faith in a site devoted to one way of seeing politics in Latin America. The “drug war” is of small importance for the politics of the region.

    On the other hand “USA Today” touched on the IFE processes for the counting of votes and, like much of the Mexican Constitution, is complex and eludes my comprehension. Stronger minds with better Spanish skills are needed to figure out what should, should not or will happen.

    I have read the US Constitution but the Founding Fathers kept it simple and short, open to interpretation and re-interpretation. Mexico’s is not the same and is still beyond my capacity.

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