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Mexican election mess

by ManfromMiddletown Wed Jul 5th, 2006 at 03:38:19 PM EST

Mexico matters, folks.Whether it's the millions of Mexican workers in the US without papers, or the simple fact that the US imports more oil from Mexico than Saudi Arabia.  Mexico matters.

On July 2 Mexico undertook historic elections which a Latin leftist, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador (AMLO), more akin to Brazil's Lula than Venezuela's Hugo Chavez held  a narrow lead.  That night and following through to the next morning, prelminary, nonbinding results (PREP) provided by the non-partisan Federal Election Institute (IFE) showed the conservative candidate, Felipe Calderon winning by a narrow margin.  That night both candidate declared victory.

This morning, the campaign of AMLO held a press conference in which the allegation of a massive fraud was made.


Bienvenido a 1988

AMLO SAYS PREP MANIPULATED, DEMANDS RECOUNT

Presidential candidate says around 50,000 precincts have more votes than registered voters, asks election results not be ambushed.

(All translation mine.)

"There was manipulation of the PREP, this we can demonstrate, we have all the elements, there is proof and things of common sense," he (AMLO) said.

Accompanied in his Roma neighborhood campaign HQ by Claudia Sheinbaum, spokeswoman for the presidential campaign, Lopez Obrador said that there were around 50 thousand precincts in which the number of reported votes surpassed registered voters.

Although results are incomplete, Lopez Obrador said, while the PREP gave a slight advantage to the PAN candidate (Calderon), he  had the advantage of 2,581,000 voters not on voter rolls given by IFE yesterday.

Claudia Sheinbaum and López Obrador said they will bring more information and facts that demonstrate the grace inconsistencies in the PREP results.

AMLO said he will act with responsiblity by firmness, and asked of his supports to be prudent.

A nation divided over "a matter of math"

Image Hosted by ImageShack.us

As has been noted, these maps can be misleading, because the   almost 24 million people in the Federal Districts and outlying Mexico state appear as a yellow dot in the center of the country, while the 3 million people in Chihuahua appear as an ocean of blue more than 10 times the size of the yellow areas near Mexico city.  For a better idea of what these maps all mean, check out this  flash presentation by the LA times.

Last night during an interview on the nightly news, AMLO requested his supports to make a peaceful presence at the stations where the offical vote count is being made.  It's very important to note that the results received from the PREP, the information that's been presented in the media as evidence of Calderon's victory is not the official vote count.

Calderon has dimissed AMLO's allegations and his call for followers to mobilize, saying the irregularies are only a matter of math.

Felipe Calderon, speaking beore a press conference, said that with 100% of the voting sites won by PAN, his candidacy rose to 14,870,179 votes, although he denied that figures from Lopex Obrador, he assured his advantage is around 0.6%.

These sites are under the control of all political parties including the PRD, challenging AMLO to give the source of his results.

The PAN candidate crticized AMLO's call to moblizer supporters and activists in district councils, and said that the PAN could do the same, but wouldn't because it's a peaceful party.

He asked the country to keep the peace, because this is only a question of math.

50 Promises to Piss Off the Bush Administration.

There's been much made of the victory of AMLO as evidence of a red tide coming from Caracas now lapping at America's southern border.  This is bullshit.

The core of AMLO's attraction to the Mexican people is his 50 promises, available in Spanish at his website, and translated to English as this site.

1 Recognize the rights of the indigenous peoples.

2 Establish a food pension for older adults.

3 Give scholarships to handicapped poor people.

4 Free medical attention and medicine.

5 Guarantee a minimum wage higher than the rate of inflation. 6 Revise the retirement age.

7 End pensions for ex-presidents.

8 Improve attention to clients of IMSS and ISSSTE (the social security health and pensions systems of private and public workers).

9 Guarantee free public education.

10 Give out free school supplies.

11 Create 200 prep schools and 30 public universities.

12 Support scientific research.

13 Promote participation in sports.

14 Stimulate artistic creation.

15 Encourage reading.

16 Broaden the coverage of cultural stations.

17 Support the development of agriculture and ranching.

18 Develop the fishing industry.

19 Avoid the importation of corn and beans as experienced under NAFTA.

20 Plant two and a half million acres of trees for lumber.

21 Establish a coherent water policy.

22 Modernize the energy sector without privatizing either the electrical or the petroleum industries.

23 Promote public and private investment in public works and housing.

24 Promote the development of industries that generate more jobs.

25 Stop the growth of foreign-owned maquiladoras.

26 Distribute credits for self-employment.

27 Create 500,000 new housing units and generate 400,000 jobs each year.

28 Construct commercial ports in Salina Cruz and Coatzacoalcos.

29 Built a bullet train from Mexico City to the U.S. border.

30 Built a new international airport in Tizayuca.

31 Develop tourism.

32 Convert the Islas Marías into the island of children.

33 Respect freedom of expression and religious belief.

34 Guarantee public safety. Fight unemployment and poverty. Root out police corruption.

35 Not to use the army for repression.

36 Enforce the principles of non-intervention, self-determination of peoples and peaceful solutions to conflicts.

37 Prioritize the issue of U.S. migration.

38 Reduce the president's salary. Save one hundred billion pesos in the bureaucracy.

39 Fight corruption seriously.

40 No increase in taxes. No value added taxes and no taxes on food and medicine. End tax fraud.

41 Simplify tax payment.

42 Create concessions for the operation of regional banks.

43 Reorganize the public debt.

44 A definitive solution to the Fobaproa [bank scandal] issue.

45 Maintain macroeconomic equilibrium.

46 Promote a new federalism.

47 Respect the autonomy of the Legislative Branch.

48 Respect Judicial decisions and insist on judicial reform.

49 Not to use the presidency either to help friends or to destroy enemies.

50 Establish the right of recall of the president.

This is the reason why Mexicans came out to vote for AMLO, and whenever right wing talking heads pin the "populist" tag on AMLO, point them to the 50 promises. AMLO's slogan is "For the good of all, first the poor."  A prefence for the poor, like I don't know, Jesus.  I could write much more, but I'm going to leave this up to you.  Consider this a Mexican election open thread.

UPDATE

I'm writing more.

I'm going to present a very simple, direct scenario.

The current electoral crisis in Mexico has the potential to create civil unrest that could unleash millions of Mexicans across the border fleeing fighting.  As well, Mexican oil exports could be severely curtailed by any extended crisis in which the final result of the election is uncertain.

Under what circumstance (if any) would the National Guard troops currently on the border be sent across to quell unrest, and secure Mexican oil facilities?  Was the possibility of a messy Mexican election, and the potential for serious unrest along the Southern border the real reason the Guard was deployed now, as opposed anytime in the past 5 years when millions of Mexicans have crossed the border illegally?

Display:
from DAily Kos.

El Universal is reporting that protestors are gathering in the Zocalo, Mexico City's main square, and security has been reinforced around the  President's house.

And I'll give my consent to any government that does not deny a man a living wage-Billy Bragg

by ManfromMiddletown (manfrommiddletown at lycos dot com) on Wed Jul 5th, 2006 at 03:41:31 PM EST
CNN ought to be doing live breaking news on this story.  This is a lot bigger story than a nutball with a dud missile.

We all bleed the same color.
by budr on Wed Jul 5th, 2006 at 03:52:13 PM EST
No this is the fear and  loathing story that is least favorable for the Bush administration. And don't forget about Britney Spears.

Ay Cabron

And I'll give my consent to any government that does not deny a man a living wage-Billy Bragg

by ManfromMiddletown (manfrommiddletown at lycos dot com) on Wed Jul 5th, 2006 at 03:55:42 PM EST
[ Parent ]
asks election results not be ambushed.

pide no dar un albazo en el resultado de la elección

I would say "asks not to be fooled on election results".

I had to look up what dar un albazo means: to ambush "at dawn". Go figure. Mexican Spanish is just weird ;-)

Nothing is 'mere'. — Richard P. Feynman

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Jul 5th, 2006 at 04:14:14 PM EST
Yes.

I get fooled by Castellano still.  Mexican Spanish, what can I say it's a half brother to Nahuatl, and I don't understand half the time.

And I'll give my consent to any government that does not deny a man a living wage-Billy Bragg

by ManfromMiddletown (manfrommiddletown at lycos dot com) on Wed Jul 5th, 2006 at 04:21:06 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm wondering whether he's asking Partoes and the press not to be fooled, or not to fool. I can't figure it out ;-)

Nothing is 'mere'. — Richard P. Feynman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Jul 5th, 2006 at 04:23:02 PM EST
[ Parent ]
This is getting pathetic.

Calderon just offered a cabinet spot to AMLO.

They way this looks, where Caldren is headed they're going to be calling him princesa not presidente.....

Miami's weird like that.

And I'll give my consent to any government that does not deny a man a living wage-Billy Bragg

by ManfromMiddletown (manfrommiddletown at lycos dot com) on Wed Jul 5th, 2006 at 04:25:35 PM EST
[ Parent ]
That's an admission of guilt if I ever saw one.

Nothing is 'mere'. — Richard P. Feynman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Jul 5th, 2006 at 04:27:37 PM EST
[ Parent ]
What???
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Wed Jul 5th, 2006 at 04:28:08 PM EST
[ Parent ]
And you thought you knew what clientelism was...

Nothing is 'mere'. — Richard P. Feynman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Jul 5th, 2006 at 04:30:53 PM EST
[ Parent ]
My ill advised attempt at a prison joke has failed.  

And I'll give my consent to any government that does not deny a man a living wage-Billy Bragg
by ManfromMiddletown (manfrommiddletown at lycos dot com) on Wed Jul 5th, 2006 at 04:39:20 PM EST
[ Parent ]
No, it was the job offer I was commenting on.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Wed Jul 5th, 2006 at 04:41:11 PM EST
[ Parent ]
He pensado si el esta deciendo no se engana, Mexico, porque puede no nos comunica mejor.  

And I'll give my consent to any government that does not deny a man a living wage-Billy Bragg
by ManfromMiddletown (manfrommiddletown at lycos dot com) on Wed Jul 5th, 2006 at 04:41:16 PM EST
[ Parent ]
También demandó a las autoridades, candidatos y partidos políticos no intentar dar un albazo en el resultado de la elección presidencial.

He also demanded of authorities, candidates and parties not to attempt an ambush on [the issue of] the presidential election result.

albazo is clearly the act of ambushing, not of being ambushed:

albazo: dar un albazo. loc. Caer de sorpresa sobre el enemigo al alba, al amanecer.


Nothing is 'mere'. — Richard P. Feynman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Jul 5th, 2006 at 04:47:30 PM EST
[ Parent ]
MfM, you may find this glossary useful if you're going to be translating the Mexican press much.

Nothing is 'mere'. — Richard P. Feynman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Jul 5th, 2006 at 04:50:30 PM EST
[ Parent ]
thanks. Bookmarked.

And I'll give my consent to any government that does not deny a man a living wage-Billy Bragg
by ManfromMiddletown (manfrommiddletown at lycos dot com) on Wed Jul 5th, 2006 at 04:54:40 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I think you're right.

I also think that this is going to get extremely interesting since the official count is showing widely varying results from the PREP preliminary count.

There's some very suspicious stuff going on with whole process.  Check out this article.

Calderón´s chief rival for the presidency, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, is running as the PRD candidate, and has a slight lead in the polls going into Sunday´s vote. Though there was no initial indication that the PRD was responsible for leaking the web site information to Aristegui, the party has hit hard at its PAN opponent for Zavala´s lucrative business dealings.

The PRD maintains that in addition to Zavala´s businesses´ government contracts, one of them landed a job with IFE to provide a software system that would help purify the voter rolls. At the same time, the PRD says, a Zavala company has designed the campaign sites of his sister´s husband, Calderón.

That combination, along with the user code Hildebrando (also the name of a Zavala company), would provide an explanation of how the voter rolls got on a Calderón site. But IFE spokesman Rodrigo Morales warned Tuesday against making any inferences.

"We´re not going to prejudge whether there was improper use of the voter rolls," he said. "But there are indications that make it necessary to initiate internal administrative procedures in case there has been a violation."

Fepade, for its part, will interview both PAN and Hildebrando officials as part of its probe.



And I'll give my consent to any government that does not deny a man a living wage-Billy Bragg
by ManfromMiddletown (manfrommiddletown at lycos dot com) on Wed Jul 5th, 2006 at 04:54:11 PM EST
[ Parent ]
the grace inconsistencies

Nothing is 'mere'. — Richard P. Feynman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Jul 5th, 2006 at 04:27:04 PM EST
[ Parent ]
make that grave.

Translating is hard work.

And I'll give my consent to any government that does not deny a man a living wage-Billy Bragg

by ManfromMiddletown (manfrommiddletown at lycos dot com) on Wed Jul 5th, 2006 at 04:35:43 PM EST
[ Parent ]
He asked the country to keep the peace, because this is only a question of math.

Bush also defeated Gore in a debate with his "fuzzy math" nonsense.

Mathematicians should protest that heir science is dragged through the mud like this.

Nothing is 'mere'. — Richard P. Feynman

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Jul 5th, 2006 at 04:19:09 PM EST
AMLO is up according to El Universal.

-50.16% de casillas computadas.

Candidatos Presidenciales:

Andrés Manuel López Obrador: 37.15 %
Felipe Calderón: 34.39 %
Roberto Madrazo: 21.88 %
Patricia Mercado: 2.76 %
Roberto Campa: 0.92 %



And I'll give my consent to any government that does not deny a man a living wage-Billy Bragg
by ManfromMiddletown (manfrommiddletown at lycos dot com) on Wed Jul 5th, 2006 at 04:23:17 PM EST
[ Parent ]
AMLO still leads

-60.07% de casillas computadas.

Candidatos Presidenciales:

Andrés Manuel López Obrador: 37.09%

Felipe Calderón: 34.56%

Roberto Madrazo: 21.79%

Patricia Mercado: 2.75%

Roberto Campa: 0.92%



And I'll give my consent to any government that does not deny a man a living wage-Billy Bragg
by ManfromMiddletown (manfrommiddletown at lycos dot com) on Wed Jul 5th, 2006 at 05:07:15 PM EST
[ Parent ]
So what results were we talking about before, and what are they counting now?

Nothing is 'mere'. — Richard P. Feynman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Jul 5th, 2006 at 05:24:09 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The PREP is a computer generated count.  At least I think.

And they're doing the scanning in of the physical ballots now.  And the numbers don't appear to match.  

And I'll give my consent to any government that does not deny a man a living wage-Billy Bragg

by ManfromMiddletown (manfrommiddletown at lycos dot com) on Wed Jul 5th, 2006 at 05:29:34 PM EST
[ Parent ]
EX-ceLL-ENT!
by gogol (gogol) on Wed Jul 5th, 2006 at 06:24:24 PM EST
[ Parent ]
More importantly, it's not really a count.  According to Wikipedia,

The Preliminary Electoral Results Program (Programa de Resultados Electorales Preliminares, or PREP) is not a statistically valid mechanism, but a system of condensing preliminary results of processed ballots as they are counted.

The PREP is not an official mechanism for counting votes, and its conclusion is not the official result; this point was made repeatedly by IFE President Ugalde in his official statements as the electoral process unfolded. [1] This was understood as an admission that PREP data is useless, thus creating uncertainty during the days between the election and the manual count. The PREP is merely a preliminary mechanism to find out general tendencies of the vote, and is neither statistically valid nor legally official.

And the IFE's PREP FAQ backs this up, saying that the PREP:

* Is not a calculation of the results on the base of statistical estimations or projections from a sample.
  • Is not a survey of exit or "exit poll" where interview to the people who leave the squares on their emitted vote.
  • Is not a fast count in which once closed the voting, the results of certain squares previously selected are compiled.

(Google translation)

So, the reason the numbers don't match is because the PREP is just supposed to give a very rough indication of the outcome, enabling a candidate who is thoroughly beaten to concede on the night. But in tight elections, its useless, if not positively harmful.

by IdiotSavant on Wed Jul 5th, 2006 at 08:46:03 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I do NOT understand the point of conceding the elections. The result is not for the candidates themselves to decide, it is for the election authorities to declare and certify.

Enough of this "elections as gentlemen's games" crap. That's where dangerous nonsense like Gore's "un-conceding" the 2000 elections in the US comes from [and there it's the media's exit polls that are supposed to prompt a concession and then there's no point counting the ballots any longer, or so we're told].

Nothing is 'mere'. — Richard P. Feynman

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Jul 6th, 2006 at 05:35:50 AM EST
[ Parent ]
El Universal: 85.98% complete, AMLO leads 36.47% to 34.79%, or by roughly three quarters of a million votes. That's an awfully big gap for Calderon to make up...

Looks like the red tide will come in afterall.

by IdiotSavant on Wed Jul 5th, 2006 at 10:45:59 PM EST
Unfortunately the official count did show the gap steadily narrowing in the later stages of the count and PAN moving into the lead. The future of Mexico remains uncertain.
by Gary J on Thu Jul 6th, 2006 at 08:34:14 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The crossover happened at 97%. The final lead is 0.26% (!!)

Nothing is 'mere'. — Richard P. Feynman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Jul 6th, 2006 at 08:43:54 AM EST
[ Parent ]
election that the right seemingly wins but if the left candidate has the cojones to stand up and demand a full recount it turns out the right had not won. There are lessons for us north of Mexico in this one.
by observer393 on Wed Jul 5th, 2006 at 11:56:12 PM EST
carried away. This is the official full count not the recount.
by observer393 on Thu Jul 6th, 2006 at 12:04:23 AM EST


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