Hundreds of thousands protest outcome of Mexico's presidential vote
In a democratic republic, when the election is stolen, THIS is what you do:
As many as 400,000 people turned out to protested what they said was a fraudulent conservative victory in Mexico's presidential election, which the leftist candidate challenged in court, organizers said.
"What we are requesting is that the votes be recounted so that our triumph be demonstrated," said leftist Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, insisting he would demonstrate in court the July 2 election was plagued with irregularities.
He made it clear he was taking his protest both to the courts and to the streets.
Hundreds of thousands of his supporters massed on Mexico City's downtown Zocalo Square to protest what the outcome of the balloting that gave conservative Felipe Calderon, of the ruling National Action Party (PAN,) the narrowest victory ever in a Mexican presidential election. And the crowd continued to grow.
"It was a massive fraud, those right-winger sure know how to cheat," said Angel Farfan, 60, as the crowd chanted "Obrador president," and hold up banners that proclaimed: "No to bloody fraud."
Lopez Obrador said his lawyers would demonstrate to the courts that the entire electoral process was warped.
"The process was plagued by irregularities," the standard-bearer of the leftist Party of the Democratic Revolution (PRD) said at a news conference ahead of the rally.
"The votes were counted but were badly counted. They were counted to favor the right-wing candidate," he said, claiming electoral authorities manipulated the process.
He also claimed that President Vicente Fox illegally interfered in the campaign in favor of Calderon, that the PAN had far exceeded campaign spending limits, and that the governing party bought votes.
The lawyers will present their challenge to the Federal Electoral Tribunal on Sunday, and will also file complaints with the Supreme Court, which can issue recommendations to the tribunal, the final arbiter of electoral disputes.
Lopez Obrador made it clear he will also take his protest to the streets, saying Saturday's demonstration would be the first of several such actions, but insisting the rallies would be peaceful.
The former Mexico City mayor lashed out at Calderon, claiming the Harvard-trained conservative served "a very powerful interest group in Mexico that for quite a while has converted the government into a committee at the service of a minority."
"This group not only has no interest in improving the life of millions of Mexicans, but has profound contempt for the poor."
Asked about foreign leaders, including US President George W. Bush, who congratulated Calderon on his victory, Lopez Obrador insisted "there is no president-elect in Mexico."
The electoral tribunal has until September 6 to render its final verdict on the outcome of the July 2 election.
U.S. elections are broken, and until Americans are willing to hit the streets and stay there until the process is repaired, we will not get the candidates that we cast legal ballots for, by clear majority.
Filed under: Al Gore, John Kerry, 2006, 2008, Mexico, Obrador, Calderon, election, stolen, recount