Mexico: Obrador caught betwixt and between Posted by: McQ
on Monday, July 10, 2006
Seems that Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador does not intend to go quietly away after being declared the loser in Mexico's contested Presidential election. The man who said he'd abide by the results of the recount apparently means he'll do so only if they come out the way he wants them too:
More than 100,000 defiant supporters of leftist presidential candidate Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador massed Saturday in a bid to overturn his narrow election defeat with protests that threatened to widen Mexico's regional and class divisions.
Lopez Obrador told the huge crowd he would present allegations of fraud to the nation's electoral court Monday and request that every one of more than 41 million votes be recounted, to expose what he called wrongdoing that cost him the election.
"We are going to ask that they clean up the elections. We are going to ask that they count all the votes — vote-by-vote, poll-by-poll," Lopez Obrador said to wide applause.
The appeal to the electoral court will delay the decision until September 6th. Of course, if he doesn't get the ruling he wants, Louis Obrador has already promised to appeal the ruling of the electoral court:
Lopez Obrador says he will challenge the result in electoral tribunals and in the Supreme Court. He claims hundreds of thousands of votes for him remain uncounted, miscounted or voided.
Interestingly, according to a expert in Mexican politics, he may do himself a world of good for the 2012 presidential contest if he could find a way to concede gracefully:
These days, Lopez Obrador must walk a tightrope. If he appears too radical, he risks hurting his party and its chances in the next presidential elections in 2012. If he appears too moderate, he risks disappointing his core supporters.
"His political stock would increase greatly for 2012" if he finds a way to concede defeat gracefully, political analyst Oscar Aguilar said.
But he seems caught in a situation of mostly his own making. He is known for the protests he's led:
He has in the past headed protests that turned disruptive or violent.
In 1996, he led farmers and fishermen in sometimes-violent takeovers of state-owned oil wells to demand compensation for damages from an oil spill.
Last year, as Mexico City mayor, he led huge street protests that forced Fox to fire his attorney general and drop a legal case that would have kept Lopez Obrador out of the presidential race.
His declaration that he'd abide by the decision of the recount appears to indicate his desire to have this over with and do what Aguilar says. But the closeness of the race and the obvious disappointment of his supporters won't let him. Consequently the situation remains unresolved until at least September. Given the long hot summer to match the passions of his supporters, one wonders if the lid will stay on that long. And, if it again goes against Obrador, will he then end all of this a gracefully concede?
My guess? He won't be able too. And if the electoral tribunal finds for him, there's little doubt in my mind that Felipe Calderon will appeal. This election is destined for Mexico's Supreme Court one way or the other.
Imagine if Al Gore had refused to accept the results of the 2000 election and called upon 100,000 protesters to march on Washington. He could have made a real mess of our country. Instead, he went away quietly for four years.
Personally, I think Obrador should note how a patriot acts, putting the country ahead of his own interests.
Republicans should ask themselves what they would be advocating now if less than 1% of the votes went the other way. What actions would they be willing to take to keep some similar to Chavez from taking over a county on our border? This was a very close call.