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Cablegate: Local Prd Officials Clarify Party Position On

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RR RUEHCD RUEHGD RUEHHO RUEHMC RUEHNG RUEHNL RUEHRD RUEHRS RUEHTM
DE RUEHME #4139/01 2071258
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 261258Z JUL 06
FM AMEMBASSY MEXICO
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 2353
INFO RUEHXC/ALL US CONSULATES IN MEXICO COLLECTIVE
RUEATRS/DEPT OF TREASURY WASHDC
RUCPDOC/DEPT OF COMMERCE WASHDC
RHMFIUU/CDR USSOUTHCOM MIAMI FL
RHMFIUU/CDR USNORTHCOM
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 MEXICO 004139

SIPDIS

SIPDIS
SENSITIVE

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV PINR PREL MX
SUBJECT: LOCAL PRD OFFICIALS CLARIFY PARTY POSITION ON
ELECTION


1. (SBU) Summary: In a meeting with poloffs on July 21,
Democratic Revolution Party (PRD) deputies from the Mexico
City Legislative Assembly discussed their party's position
towards the contested presidential election. Led by Deputy
Lorena Villavicencio Ayala, the PRD committee expressed its
concern that the international community viewed the PRD as a
party of rebels. For that reason, local party members have
been visiting various embassies to clarify the party position
and to deliver an "informative document" detailing PRD goals
and justifying its demands. The deputies asserted the PRD
was acting within its rights in challenging a close election.
They stated that the party does not wish to foment
instability and will act in accordance with the law. While
the main goal of the party is to secure a complete vote
recount, it would be satisfied if all of the votes from the
50,000 polling booths (casillas) it has specifically
challenged are recounted. The deputies assured us the PRD
would abide by the Electoral Tribunal's final decision,
whatever it were, although they could not confirm if their
candidate for the presidency, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador
(AMLO), would follow the party line if the court did not rule
in his favor. End Summary.

2. (U) PRD Deputies from the Federal District Legislative
Assembly requested a meeting with poloffs as part of a
broader effort to clarify to the diplomatic community the
party's position on the presidential election. The group, led
by Deputy Lorena Villavicencio Ayala, wished to dispel any
notion that the PRD was acting outside of the law. Rather,
she maintained the party is exercising its legal right to
contest what is a very close election. Citing irregularities
and alleged procedural infractions by electoral authorities,
the deputies outlined the party's two major strategies for
contesting the election. Their first preference is for a
nationwide recount. The PRD's fallback position is to insist
on the recounting of votes from the 50,000 ballot boxes it
has specifically impugned. (NOTE: Mexican law requires that
where the results in specific ballot boxes are impugned, the
party presenting the challenge must have made an official
protest of the results in that ballot box no later than July
5. The PRD deputies asserted that in most cases their
representatives had lodged the appropriate protest by the
deadline. END NOTE.)

3. (U) One of the electoral "irregularities" most frequently
cited by the PRD deputies was that approximately 1.5 million
votes were annulled by electoral authorities - far more than
the 240,000 vote margin that separates Calderon and AMLO.
(NOTE: According to IFE's final count, only 905,000 votes
were actually annulled. END NOTE.) The deputies alleged that
in many cases votes were declared invalid simply because the
"X" marked on the ballot for a particular candidate strayed
outside the box next to the candidate's name. They argued
that in such a tight race, the annulment of so many votes is
reason to question the election results. Their written
report sets forth many other bases for challenging the
election. They include allegations that: outside actors,
such as federal, state, and local government authorities, as
well as businesses and civil organizations, improperly
intervened in the campaign; IFE acted partially by not
halting the "dirty war" of campaign attack ads; the
preliminary (PREP) count was conducted improperly by IFE so
as to give Calderon an advantage; official vote tallies were
tampered with in areas where no PRD representatives were
present; and IFE illegally declared Calderon the victor when
only the Electoral Court has that authority. The PRD report
further alleges that at specific polling booths, votes were
received by unauthorized persons, party representatives were
denied access or expelled without justification, the
computation of votes often contained errors, and ballot boxes
were installed in unapproved areas. While the report itself
does not allege systematic fraud, one of the deputies present
at the July 21 meeting told us he believed such fraud took
place. He claimed that the PAN appeared to be using the
"old-style PRI tactics" to manipulate elections, presumably
referring to ballot box stuffing and the like. However, he
joked that the PRI had been more adept at it than the PAN:
when the PRI rigged past elections, it "won" by a large
margin, whereas the PAN was only able to orchestrate a slim
margin for its candidate.

4. (SBU) Comment: In the wake of AMLO's two large
demonstrations in Mexico City and his threatened campaign of
civil disobedience, this meeting appeared to be an attempt on
the part of the PRD to paint the party in a more moderate

MEXICO 00004139 002 OF 002


light. In fact, Villavicencio declared herself and her
colleagues to be "a new generation" within the PRD, one that
respects the law and institutions and would abide by the
decision of the Electoral Tribunal. The deputies tellingly
joked that AMLO does not have a detailed knowledge of
electoral law. What remained unclear, however, was whether
AMLO himself would toe the party line if the decision does
not come out in his favor. End comment.


Visit Mexico City's Classified Web Site at
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