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Scoop Link: Lopez Obrador Files Challenges


Lopez Obrador Files Challenges

Lawyers for the leftist candidate in Mexico's presidential election seek a complete recount.
By Richard Boudreaux and Carlos Martinez
The Los Angeles Times
Monday 10 July 2006

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Mexico City - Lawyers for leftist candidate Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador on Sunday turned in documented allegations of irregularities that they said cost him the July 2 presidential election, and a senior aide warned that Mexico faces an "insurrection" unless all 41 million ballots are recounted.

The warning by Gerardo Fernandez Noro - a, the campaign's chief spokesman, was the most explicit high-level threat that the challenger's struggle to overturn his razor-thin defeat could erupt in civil disobedience and violence.

Lopez Obrador lost by 244,000 votes in the official tally, an average of less than two votes per polling place. His demand for a recount has been resisted by election officials and the apparent winner, Felipe Calderon of the ruling National Action Party, or PAN.

Fernandez said that if the seven-judge Federal Electoral Tribunal upheld the result without a full recount and allowed Calderon to take office, "we are not going to let him govern." He spoke to reporters outside an election district office where Horacio Duarte, the chief lawyer, delivered the documentation half an hour before a midnight deadline.

"The other road is insurrection," Fernandez said. "If the judges decide not [to recount each vote] we all have a problem - they, we and the country". What has to be done to avoid this confrontation? Count the votes one by one " and if we lose, we will respect the result absolutely."

The legal challenge came a day after Lopez Obrador summoned 250,000 supporters to Mexico City's central square, the first of a round of marches and rallies in support of a recount. He urged them to remain peaceful, but has so far declined to say whether the street protests would continue if he lost the legal battle.

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