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Mexico Election Court to Rule on Monday

by XicanoPwr Sun Aug 27th, 2006 at 07:16:04 PM EST

Mexico's election tribunal (TEPJF) will announce its final ruling concern its electoral investigation on August 28, 2006, meanwhile, TEPJF are currently into the 375 challenges, which were presented by both the PRD-led coalition and the conservative National Action Party (PAN) parties. One plausible explanation for notifying their ruling apparently Mexico's new Congress is scheduled to be sworn in on Tuesday afternoon. For presidential candidate Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO) this will be the he and his millions of supporters will find out their fate.

La Jornada explains TEPJF met in a closed meeting to discuss whether to annul 43,858 ballots. The coalition asks to annul the voting in 31,336 ballots from the 7,532 ballot boxes (65%) out of the 11,839, which resulted from the recount of the votes; the PAN demanded to annul 4,990 ballots.

Last week, in an interview with German journalist, President Vicente Fox made an unexpected statement referring to Felipe Calderón was the "clear winner" of a disputed July 2 election. This premature assertion was meant to downplay López Obrador's persistent protests over the vote count.

Soon after, Fox's office tried to spin Fox's speech by releasing the transcript of comment Fox made to the German journalists, but added the president respected the tribunal's decisions.

"There is a clear winner, Mr. Felipe Calderón and that will soon be confirmed," Fox said.

"And there is a last chapter to the process and that is the opportunity for candidates and parties to present complaints," he continued. "There is a party and a candidate that presented their complaints, and they are being reviewed."

Fox's decision to declare Calderón the winner provided the mass media another reason to the Calderón drum. The Wall Street Journal editorial board has recently argued that Mexico is on "brink of undoing" itself.
Today, however, Mexico may be on the brink of undoing a generation of hard-won political reform.

"Amid the inevitable legal arcana that surround election challenges, the greater fear is political -- that the tribunal will bend beneath Mexico's notoriously backward-looking pressures.

Mr. López Obrador's street mobs are one kind of threat. They have barricaded miles of one of the city's most important boulevards for weeks, blocked entry to the offices of foreign banks, caused days of lost income for thousands of Mexican workers and twice burst into the Cathedral to interrupt Sunday Mass. Mr. López Obrador has pledged that this is going to continue until he gets his way.

The tribunal's decision is a crucial test for Mexican modernity. Mexicans who had reason to believe that their country was evolving toward a pluralistic democracy supported by strong independent institutions are right to be worried, along with foreign investors and international creditors.

Here in the US, TX Gov Rick Perry is not helping in the situation as well. During last Thursdays Border Governors Conference, Gov Perry acknowledged he called Calderón in the morning before participating at the conference. However, he avoided to speak what the discussion was about to reporters only stating it was "very much personal in nature." During Perry's speech, he called Calderón the president-elect of Mexico. After Perry made the statement at the conference's opening ceremony, a reporter from Mexico asked him whether his call consciously suggested that he recognized Calderón as the winner. Perry replied:
When we have an election in the United States and the individual who gets the most votes, we refer to them as the president elect.
Perry spokesperson Kathy Walt told reporters that the conversation was merely a simple courtesy call. She went on to say the call was "an acknowledgment that you have an individual who was, at least under our law, presumably elected." When a reporter asked Walt whether the Republican governor referred to Democrat Al Gore as "Mr. President" because he won the popular vote in the 2000 presidential election, she admittedly said "No."

In the war of words, President Fox, Calderón and AMLO have taken shots at each other. In the same statement that Fox declared Calderón a "clear winner," he strongly expressed that López Obrador is "messianic." AMLO shot back and accused Calderón of planning a coup similar to what reportedly took place in the wake of the 1988 election (via Mecury Rising). AMLO has even gone so far to ostensibly express that the tribunal certifies Calderón as the victor, Mexico could wake up to "two presidents" on Sept 17 after the National Democratic Convention that is currently set to meet for the first time in Mexico City´s Zócalo on Sept 16.

It is obvious both sides is fighting to be the one to become Mexico, but, until tomorrow, the citizens of Mexico and the onlookers outside of Mexico will just have to wait, I know I will.

My feeling behind the USA supreme court ruling on the election was that it was better to hide the truth that the country was not able to run a fair election because of widespread partisan cheating, so why bother redoing one.

In this case, is Mexico able to run an election without the obvious fraud we've seen for the first one (even if they were probably less than previous election)?

I must also admit that seen from France with its straightforward election code: choose one ballot (no writing), glass boxes, place to hide for each voter (with mandatory stop), registry signing, local counting with representative of all candidates plus willing citizens, publication of detailed results for all polling places, it's hard to see those screwing up so bad (registry can be replaced by ink if registry isn't reliable).

by Laurent GUERBY on Mon Aug 28th, 2006 at 03:18:58 AM EST
From Reuters -
Mexico's top electoral court threw out leftists' allegations of massive fraud in last month's presidential election on Monday, handing almost certain victory to conservative candidate Felipe Calderon.

The seven judges voted unanimously to reject most of the legal complaints by left-wing candidate Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, who said he was robbed of victory in the July 2 vote.

Corruption and hypocrisy ought not to be inevitable products of democracy, as they undoubtedly are today. - Gandhi
by XicanoPwr (chicanopwr at gmail.com) on Mon Aug 28th, 2006 at 02:44:28 PM EST

 The court annulled results from scores of polling stations after a partial recount this month because of irregularities, but there was no sign of huge fraud, the judges said.

"We can tell people that today their votes were worth something and that they are definitive," said another judge, Fernando Ojesto, adding that the court would in coming days rule on the election's validity and give a final vote count.

I hope the judgement will be backed by hard data, but I feel it won't.

I also hope this whole mess will not degenerate into violence, probably a hard decision will have to be made by the contestation leaders.

by Laurent GUERBY on Mon Aug 28th, 2006 at 05:41:06 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Well well... Not a big surprise. I was this was probably going to happen when the election commission approved the Chiapas election, which supposedly was equally dubious. Now they can claim impartiality...
by Trond Ove on Mon Aug 28th, 2006 at 06:02:13 PM EST
[ Parent ]

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