Mexico's Presidential Election Outcome in Dispute as Leftist Party Cries 'Foul'
Interview with Michael Lettieri, Council of Hemispheric Affairs research fellow, conducted by Scott Harris
Editor's note: At the time this segment was produced, the final results of Mexico's election were still uncertain.
Mexico's presidential election ended with uncertainty on July 2. Both leading candidates -- pro-corporate conservative Felipe Calderon of the ruling conservative National Action Party and Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador of the center-left Party of Democratic Revolution declared victory when a preliminary vote count showed that less than one percentage point separated the two.
As Mexico's Federal Electoral Institute prepared to begin an official count on July 5, Lopez Obrador, who was trailing by about 400,000 votes in the initial tally, charged that 3 million votes were missing and demanded a vote-by-vote recount. The progressive candidate who campaigned with the slogan -- "For the good of everyone, the poor first," has reason to be fearful of vote fraud. His party's candidate in 1988, Cuauhtemoc Cardenas, was widely believed to have had his presidential victory stolen by the then dominant Institutional Revolutionary Party or PRI. Lopez Obrador's own candidacy was almost derailed by dubious contempt of court charges leveled at him by incumbent President Fox of Calderon's party.
When confronted with evidence of injustice in the past, Lopez Obrador, the mayor of Mexico City, has called his supporters into the streets by the hundreds of thousands to challenge opponents. Between The Lines' Scott Harris spoke with Michael Lettieri, a research fellow at the Council on Hemispheric Affairs, who was in Mexico City to observe the election. He discusses the campaign and the fear that a protracted dispute could trigger political and civil unrest.
Contact the Council on Hemispheric Affairs at (202) 223-4975 or visit their website at www.coha.org
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