MEXICO CITY, April 7 (Reuters) -- Mexico's most popular politician, the mayor of Mexico City, is likely to be fired and go to jail pending trial.
By a vote of 360 to 127 Thursday, the nation's Congress stripped Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador's immunity from prosecution, so he can be charged with contempt of court in a minor land dispute.
The move could also preclude the leftist from presidential elections next year.
President Vicente Fox's National Action Party joined forces with the main opposition Institutional Revolutionary Party to push out the mayor, an austere widower who vows to help Mexico's tens of millions of poor if elected president.
Lopez Obrador is accused of disobeying a judge's order in 2001 to stop work on a road to a hospital through a disputed plot of expropriated land on the outskirts of the city.
In the coming days, a judge is likely to order the mayor's arrest, but aides say he will hand himself in rather than be forcibly arrested.
About 150,000 protesters poured into the streets of central Mexico City earlier in the day to show support for Lopez Obrador, a member of the left-wing Party of the Democratic Revolution.
He says he will try to register as a candidate from behind bars if need be, which could mean months of political and legal wrangling.
Mexico's complicated laws are often open to interpretation, but most legal experts agree Lopez Obrador would struggle to be a candidate if found guilty, regardless if the charge is a minor one.
Mexico established full democracy only in 2000, when Fox's election ended 71 years of one-party rule.