Sunday, September 17, 2006

Mexico Finale

Mexican leftists, who say the July 2 election was stolen, declared their candidate their "legitimate president" on Saturday, a symbolic move reducing the risk of street protests to make the country ungovernable.

Aides said Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, who narrowly lost the election, would use mainly political means rather than widespread protests in leading opposition to conservative President-elect Felipe Calderon. While supporters voted to swear Lopez Obrador in at a ceremony on Nov. 20, just days before Calderon takes power. Lopez Obrador said he would name ministers to his parallel government and that it would operate from voluntary donations. As quoted in Reuters he said, "we won the presidential election. I accept the post of president of Mexico because we reject an imposition," he told cheering followers who gathered under torrential rains. "We will never give up."Earlier yesterday, leftists protested against President Vicente Fox at the nation's Independence Day military parade.

But the campaign has clearly lost momentum and few now doubt Calderon will rule the country, although he will continue to face constant sniping from Lopez Obrador and a large bloc of leftist lawmakers in Congress. However, more and more Mexicans want Lopez Obrador, a former mayor of the capital, to end the protests. Though much about the Mexican election is still disputed and bitter it is hoped that having Mr. Lopez Obrador as a vocal opposition in the Mexican Congress and not in the streets is better for the Mexican people and Mexico.

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