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1830Re: [prezveepsenator] Mexico begins review of presidential vote

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  • THOMAS JOHNSON
    Jul 6, 2006
    • 0 Attachment
      Would have liked to have seen a similar reaction from
      Kerry....

      --- Greg Cannon <gregcannon1@...> wrote:

      >
      http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20060705/ap_on_re_la_am_ca/mexico_elections;_ylt=AvNafC.P.pB8ckNAQL8yRQb9xg8F;_ylu=X3oDMTA3b3JuZGZhBHNlYwM3MjE-
      >
      > Mexico begins review of presidential vote
      >
      > By IOAN GRILLO, Associated Press Writer 1 hour, 49
      > minutes ago
      >
      > MEXICO CITY - Mexico began a marathon review of vote
      > tallies Wednesday to determine whether conservative
      > candidate Felipe Calderon really won the tight
      > presidential race, while his leftist challenger
      > insisted he was victorious and denounced what he
      > called widespread irregularities.
      >
      > Calderon told The Associated Press that he would be
      > willing to include his charismatic challenger in his
      > Cabinet in an effort to avoid weeks of political
      > impasse. But he said he didn't think Andres Manuel
      > Lopez Obrador would accept, adding that the two men
      > hadn't talked since the election.
      >
      > A preliminary count showed Calderon, of President
      > Vicente Fox's conservative National Action Party,
      > ahead by just 1 percentage point. Lopez Obrador
      > demanded a recount of every ballot, saying
      > Wednesday:
      > "The political stability of the country hangs in the
      > balance."
      >
      > Lopez Obrador could mobilize millions if he doesn't
      > get his way. In a news conference Wednesday,
      > Calderon
      > raised the possibility that he would do the same.
      >
      > "We could also call for protests, but the vote can't
      > be replaced by demonstrations," he said. "They are
      > trying to undermine an election without having the
      > results to back it up."
      >
      > Federal Electoral Institute President Luis Carlos
      > Ugalde said late Tuesday that 2.6 million votes were
      > not included in the preliminary count because of
      > "inconsistencies," such as poor handwriting or
      > extraneous marks on the tally sheets attached
      > outside
      > each ballot box. Lopez Obrador had initially said
      > those 2.6 million were "missing."
      >
      > If a review of the uncounted votes inside prove the
      > numbers on these tally sheets are valid, Calderon
      > would still lead, but by just 0.64 percent — about
      > 250,000 of the 41 million votes cast, Ugalde said.
      >
      > Electoral officials across Mexico began to review
      > all
      > the tally sheets Wednesday, a process that by law
      > must
      > continue around the clock until the final, official
      > result is determined. It was unclear when that might
      > be.
      >
      > The final count will be turned over to Mexico's
      > electoral courts, where political parties can
      > dispute
      > the results. The electoral court is to certify the
      > winner Sept. 6.
      >
      > Ugalde said officials would open ballot boxes to
      > conduct individual counts only where there are tally
      > sheet problems.
      >
      > In an initial meeting between electoral officials
      > and
      > party representatives, Horacio Duarte of Lopez
      > Obrador's Democratic Revolution Party demanded that
      > officials recount all the votes "for the health of
      > the
      > republic."
      >
      > "There is one thing missing in this process:
      > certainty," Duarte said.
      >
      > National Action's German Martinez responded, "They
      > want to throw out the election because it didn't
      > favor
      > them. Pressure and blackmail should not prevail."
      >
      > The review that began Wednesday is crucial to
      > proving
      > the balloting was clean to a nation that emerged six
      > years ago from 71 years of one-party rule replete
      > with
      > election fraud. Some fear that failure to convince
      > the
      > public and candidates it was a fair vote could spark
      > widespread civil unrest.
      >
      > "Such a close race is a nightmare scenario," said
      > Ted
      > Lewis, an election observer for the San
      > Francisco-based Global Exchange. "If the ruling
      > party
      > wins by a hair, a lot of people will jump to the
      > conclusion that something is amiss."
      >
      > Lopez Obrador aide Claudia Sheinbaum said Wednesday
      > that the party found "very grave inconsistencies" in
      > at least 50,000 polling places, including 18,646 in
      > which votes cast outnumbered ballots distributed by
      > officials. There was no immediate response from
      > election officials.
      >
      > "The entire handling of the preliminary count was
      > irregular," Lopez Obrador told Mexico's TV Azteca in
      > an interview Tuesday night. "We are convinced that
      > we
      > won and we're going to prove it."
      >
      > Directing his remarks to electoral officials, he
      > said,
      > "Make the review thorough so all will be satisfied.
      >
      > Ugalde said officials will open up ballot boxes to
      > conduct individual counts only if there is evidence
      > of
      > specific irregularities.
      >
      > Mexico became accustomed to widespread accusations
      > of
      > electoral shenanigans during seven decades of rule
      > by
      > the Institutional Revolutionary Party, or PRI.
      >
      > Fears of such fraud have sharply diminished since
      > the
      > electoral institute was founded in 1990s. The
      > now-autonomous institute oversaw Fox's peaceful
      > defeat
      > of the PRI in 2000 and has been praised as a
      > world-class electoral body that has advised emerging
      > democracies, including Iraq and Haiti.
      >
      > Many Mexicans have a hard time discarding conspiracy
      > theories, though.
      >
      > "It's very suspicious," said Miguel Angel Bobadilla,
      > a
      > 33-year-old orange juice seller who voted for Lopez
      > Obrador. "It has been three days since the election
      > and they still haven't declared a winner."
      >
      > The silver-haired former mayor of Mexico City has
      > inspired passionate support with promises to help
      > millions of poor Mexicans, and has successfully
      > rallied supporters to participate in huge marches.
      >
      > He has not called for any demonstrations since the
      > election, although there were some scattered,
      > peaceful
      > protests supporting him Tuesday.
      >
      > Interior Secretary Carlos Abascal said Tuesday that
      > the Fox administration "does not endorse the victory
      > of anyone, at all."
      >
      > But political analyst Jose Antonio Crespo said there
      > is still concern that some electoral officials are
      > too
      > close to Calderon. He said the electoral institute
      > needs to be scrupulous in its review to prove
      > Mexico's
      > democratic credentials.
      >
      > "I am worried," Crespo said. "All the players must
      > tread very carefully or this situation could
      > escalate
      > out of control."
      >
      > ___
      >
      > On the Net:
      >
      > Federal Electoral Institute: http://www.ife.org.mx
      > (has English language site)
      >
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