Thursday, July 06, 2006

Here's the Wall Street Journal on the Mexican election:

For the past four months this nation has been bracing for a nail-biter of a race. The chief concern was that Mr. López Obrador, a renowned sore loser, would respond in a manner detrimental to Mexican democracy if he were edged out by the competition.

The race was every bit as tight as pollsters had predicted. And by Monday morning when it began to appear that Mr. López Obrador had secured only second place, Mexicans were treated, on national television, to a flash of anger that revealed the trademark intolerance that has made him such a polarizing figure: The red- faced candidate gripped the podium in frustration, pledging to exhaust every available legal channel. His head shook uncontrollably as he demanded that the country "respect" his "triumph." Yesterday, his senior aides told Reuters that his supporters would take to the streets if the election authorities don't go his way.

La Vanguardia's Joaquim Ibarz buried the lead about as deep as possible--the next-to-last paragraph:

Although Lopez Obrador denounced the disappearance of three million votes, he knew they had been counted separately. With the accusation of manipulation, he sowed doubt, exalted feelings against the IFE (election board), and marked the road map toward talk of fraud. The daily La Jornada, Lopez Obrador's unofficial organ, yesterday published a full-page photograph of (IFE president) Luis Carlos Ugalde with this caption: "Wanted: election thief." Lopez Obrador called on his followers to defend their votes "peacefully" in front of the 300 election district headquarters.

The AP is reporting that Calderon won the election and that Lopez Obrador is charging fraud and calling a mass demo in the Zocalo, Mexico City's (and Tenochtitlan's) enormous central square. Several sources point out that Calderon won the north of the country, including every state along the US border, and Lopez Obrador won the relatively poorer south, with few exceptions.

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