CalderÃ³n Wins Mexico Vote
Felipe Calderón, the candidate of incumbent president Vicente Fox’s National Action Party (PAN), has been declared the winner of Mexico’s presidential election by the country’s independent election commission:
After days of uncertainty, election officials declared Thursday that Felipe CalderÃ³n, a conservative, had won the race for president by less than 1 percent of the official count. His leftist rival refused to accept the results and vowed to go to court and demand a recount.
As he pulled ahead in a tally overnight that entranced the nation, Mr. CalderÃ³n said he would fight to keep his victory, however narrow, over the populist former Mexico City mayor, Andrés Manuel LÃ³pez Obrador. Election officials said Mr. CalderÃ³n had won by 243,000 votes out of 41 million cast on Sunday. …
The official tally opened a new phase in the bruising political battle between the men. Mr. LÃ³pez Obrador’s refusal to concede defeat set the stage for a legal challenge that could take weeks to decide who would be the next president.
He called on his supporters to rally in the historic central square of the capital on Saturday in a show of strength that suggested he would use huge street demonstrations to put public pressure on the court to grant his request for a recount.
“We cannot accept these results,” Mr. LÃ³pez Obrador, 52, declared. “We are going to ask for clarity. We are going to ask for a vote count, polling place by polling place.”
Mr. LÃ³pez Obrador’s determination to challenge the results means that a special Federal Electoral Tribunal, set up to handle electoral disputes, will end up deciding whether there will be a recount. Some legal scholars said that while that outcome was unlikely, it was not impossible.
Assuming that the challenge by LÃ³pez Obrador (popularly nicknamed “AMLO,” by his initials) is unsuccessful, CalderÃ³n will take office in December for a six-year term with no possibility of reelection. Even if AMLO were to somehow overturn the results, the impact on US-Mexican relations would probably be minimal–both candidates staked out similar positions (which mirrored those of the Fox administration) on the issues of immigration and border security, and while AMLO is something of a populist, there is little concern that he would turn out to be another Hugo Chávez in office.