Skip to comments.Mexico leftist plans civil resistance campaign
Posted on 07/16/2006 2:59:21 PM PDT by Flavius
MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - Backed by hundreds of thousands of followers, the leftist who lost Mexico's presidential vote two weeks ago, vowed on Sunday to start civil resistance to protest at fraud and force a recount. ADVERTISEMENT click here
Huge crowds chanting "You are not alone," cheered Andres Lopez Obrador, who lost the July 2 election by a fraction, on a march through the capital to the main Zocalo square.
The size of the protest, bigger than a similar demonstration last week, gave Lopez Obrador a lift in his attempt to persuade an election court to declare him winner.
"We are going to start peaceful civil resistance to defend democracy," Lopez Obrador told supporters, some of whom walked, traveled on buses or even rode on horseback to the capital from around the country.
Lopez Obrador, a former Indian welfare officer, said aides would meet this week to work out what form the resistance would take. The official result showed conservative ruling party candidate Felipe Calderon won by less than a percentage point, or just over 240,000 votes.
The race divided Mexico only six years after President Vicente Fox ended 71 years of one-party rule. Arguments over fraud allegations raised fears of political gridlock and maybe even violence in a key U.S. ally in Latin America.
A court is investigating complaints by Lopez Obrador, the ex-mayor of Mexico City, that electoral officials altered the vote count to favor Calderon.
Despite Lopez Obrador's ability to put supporters on the streets, an opinion poll on Saturday showed most Mexicans do not agree with his call for a vote-for-vote recount. A recount of tally sheets has already confirmed Calderon as the winner.
The leftist also said Fox's government illegally backed Calderon, its Harvard-educated former energy minister.
"I feel sad, angry and impotent because the people's will was not respected," demonstrator Salvador Torres said.
The court must rule on the fraud claims then declare a president-elect by early September.
Leftists streamed into the capital from all over Mexico to back Lopez Obrador, known as AMLO from his initials. An austere widower, he vows to take millions of Mexicans out of poverty.
Five people carrying yellow flags of Lopez Obrador's Party of the Democratic Revolution rode horses through the Spanish colonial city center toward the rally.
A youth dressed in a black Che Guevara T-shirt carried a banner of the Virgin of Guadalupe, Mexico's most revered religious icon, reading, "The mother of Mexico is with AMLO."
European Union observers say there was no major fraud on voting day but leftists have been deeply suspicious since a 1988 presidential contest that was almost certainly stolen from their candidate by the then government.
Lopez Obrador, a fiery speaker, inspires fear in the middle class but devotion among many of Mexico's poor.
"People are really angry. We're not just going to go home. We're going to keep going until he is declared president," said Francisco Benavides, a farmer from the state of Morelos.
Lopez Obrador has asked the electoral court to carry out a vote-for-vote recount, beyond the original count and the tally sheet recount last week that showed Calderon the winner.
Sixty percent of people polled by Reforma newspaper said they did not want a new recount, compared to 37 percent who backed Lopez Obrador's proposal.
But the question put to interviewees in the poll did not mention the allegations of fraud. It only asked if the votes should be counted a third time.
(Additional reporting by Anahi Rama and Kieran Murray
"We are going to start peaceful civil resistance to defend democracy,"
They must be students of the Bill Clinton school of politics.
Just what we need is more of these in OUR country...thank you Washington, DC...for such a great gift!!!
AMLO can whip up his rent-a-mobs to his heart's content, but it sure looks like public opinion is turning against him the longer he draws out this ordeal.
If there was any danger of a revolution, I reckon it would have happened by now. For those of you who are knowledgeable about Mexico, is anyone up for bets that within a few months AMLO and his roadshow will be south-of-the-border comedy fodder?
Next he will invent the Internet and make a film about Global Warming. Unless, maybe the citizens of Mexico have less interest in blowhards.
El Nina Los Grandes
My my, and I was told that communism was defeated. Looks to me like Communism is a whole lot like cancer. As long as a single cell is left alive, the host is in danger of being terminated. I think there may be a lesson here.
Communism and Liberals are like cockroaches.
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