No full recount in Mexican election

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Sunday, August 6, 2006

Mexico's electoral tribunal has ordered a partial recount of ballots cast in last month's election, rejecting demands by left-wing candidate Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador for a full recount.

Right-wing candidate Felipe Calderon had roughly 243,000 votes more than Lopez Obrador in the July 2nd vote according to the present official results, a margin of 0.58%. Lopez Obrador accuses Calderon's supporters of electoral irregularities. Under Mexican law a president-elect must be declared by September 6th.

Ballots cast at 9% of the country's polling stations will be recounted.

Speaking at a rally in Mexico City following the ruling, Lopez Obrador told his supporters that "peaceful civic resistance" will continue. "We maintain our demand," he said. "We disagree with the tribunal's decision. They must reverse it."

His supporters, chanting "vote-by-vote" and "if there is no solution, there will be revolution" blocked the entrance to the tribunal.

In a speech on July 30, Lopez Obrador stated his point of view on democracy, "Let's bear in mind that democracy is not just the best system of government that humanity has found : it is also the most effective method of guaranteeing coexistence in condtions of harmony. Democracy generates checks and balances, it promotes dignity and avoids that one person or a few people, whether from the higher or lower echelons of the social scale, behave as absolute owners of public power."

Regarding his request for a full recount, he stated, "The most decisive proof that we won the presidential election lies in the attitude of rejection that the candidate of the Right has adopted when faced with the demand for a recount of all the votes. If he argues that he won he has no reason not to clear up any doubt and clean up the election. Who owes nothing, fears nothing....."

The partial recount is scheduled to begin on Wednesday August 9 and is expected to last five days.