View Full Version : Amid Protests, Cries Of Fraud, Both Sides Claim Victory In Mexico Recount

08-16-2006, 08:55 AM
Amid protests, cries of fraud, both sides claim victory in Mexico recount


Published: Tuesday August 15, 2006

Mexican President Vicente Fox has broken his silence as turmoil and mass protests continue following a partial recount of the nation's presidential vote.

Both sides are claiming victory following the latest recount, which involved ballots from approximately 9 percent of the 130,000 precincts in Mexico.

Felipe Calderón, the conservative candidate of Fox's ruling National Action Party, says the recount results confirm his victory. Calderón is confident a top electoral court will declare him president-elect.

"Not one significant anomaly was found," said Calderón, according to IOL. "On the contrary, it ratifies that we won the elections."

But leftist candidate and former Mexico City mayor Andrés Manuel López Obrador is just as satisfied that the recount has exposed enough irregularities to warrant a full recount of all 41 million votes. "If the people's will is ignored by the rich and powerful," he said Sunday, "we must fight for a national renewal and the reform of the nation's institutions."

Analyses of the hard data varies, depending on the source.

UPI, Bloomberg and MarketWatch are among those asserting that the recount results indicate little change in the overall figures, cementing Calderón's claim to victory.

Cuban news agency Prensa Latina, however, reports that Mexican election officials "detected a favorable 420,000 vote difference" for Obrador. Narco News, in a continuing investigative series focusing on the election, takes an in-depth look at the data and concludes that preliminary numbers confirm "massive and systematic electoral fraud." RAW STORY reported earlier on accusations of fraud surrounding the first election.

Mexicans themselves, at first content with the initial result but welcoming a recount, have become disenchanted with the government's handling of it. Approval ratings for the federal electoral committee have dropped 13 points in the last month.

President Fox broke his silence in an interview with the New York Times (registration required), calling López Obrador's claims of box stuffing and missing ballots a "big lie," standing by the apparent win of Calderón, and warning ominously that if events continue to spiral out of control, "I will assume my responsibility."

Mexicans are meanwhile losing patience with disruptive protests in the nation's capital. Demonstrators have been tear-gassed, while federal legislators have been injured in scuffles with riot police.

For his part, López Obrador declares that protests could continue "for years."