Saturday, August 05, 2006

The Tribunal Speaks - Initially - Mexican Election Post #19

This afternoon the Mexican Election Tribunal rejected the massive legal challenge made by Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador. The rejection was unanimous. The Tribunal did order a recount in fewer than 10% of the 130,000 precincts. MALO told a rally this afternoon in Mexico City - “We demand that the magistrates rectify their decision because they have the ability and the moral responsibility to do it,” The Chief Judge of the Tribunal rejected MALOs pleas and argued that the direct involvement of citizens serves as a good check against fraud. Lopez Obrador had argued that there were problems in more than six times the number of precincts that the Tribunal found. It is unclear what MALO will do next. The MALO supporters initially prevented the judges from leaving their building - but that protest broke up a few hours later. My Spanish instructor commented earlier in the week that she thought he was a lot like child who had lost his favorite toy.

The country may be getting tired of MALOs protests. The Mexican President was speaking at a university in Mexico City today and was hassled by a PRD supporter who yelled "voto por voto" (vote for vote or do a full recount) but Fox reacted in a smart way. Instead of having the person hustled out (which many of the audience argued for, Fox said - "Let him be. Leave him alone! Let him enjoy the liberty that we have in this country. Let him be. There is no doubt that I am standing before a very vibrant group. Here we are seeing a living, breathing example of optimism, unity and spirituality before our very eyes." Great comment.

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