The results may not seem so miraculous if you take a look at these voter sheets. This is from a district in Guanajuato, which shows that Calderon picked up 192 votes, but Obrador, the challenger, got only 12. And here’s how this miraculous total can be explained. We were given a videotape of a poll worker, seen here stuffing ballots into the unguarded cardboard ballot box. Mexico has virtually zero
Lopez Obrador is calling today for ”“ beginning today for people to march from each of the 300 Mexican voting districts from around the country to the capital. There were a half-million people in the capital, as we showed in the film, on Saturday. So a couple million people are expected to arrive in the capital Saturday. This is going to continue on until at least the end of August, because they are demanding a recount of every single vote. Now, it’s a simple paper ballot, which you can easily open up and look at.
While much of the world believes Felipe CalderÃ³n has been officially declared Mexico’s next President, it is not true. At least not yet.
(Mexico City) Last week the Electoral Commission, IFE, announced the results of a country-wide count of tally sheets – sheets that are attached to each ballot box – they found that Felipe CalderÃ³n (PAN) was ahead of LÃ³pez Obrador (PRD) by around 0.5%. To CalderÃ³n, there is no question that he is
[Mexico City] There’s more that the Mexico vote has in common with Florida besides the heat. The ruling party’s hand-picked electoral commission counted a mere 243,000 votes more for their candidate, Felipe CalderÃ³n, over challenger Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador. That’s noteworthy in light of the surprise showing of candidate Senor Blank-o (the 827,000 ballots supposedly left “blank”).
We’ve seen Mr Blank-o do well before
The official count of the ruling party is: 36.38% and 35.34% for the challenger.
Or, to put names and numbers to it: The Bush-o-philiac candidate, Felipe CalderÃ³n, collected 402,000 more votes than Bush-bashed AndrÃ©s Manuel LÃ³pez Obrador. But the big winner was Mr. Blank ”“ the 827,000 ballots without a mark for president.
I smell something rotten…
Dispatch from Mexico City
The election race south of the US border is officially too close to call. Now, where have we heard that before?
As in Florida in 2000, and as in Ohio in 2004, the exit polls show the voters voted for the progressive candidate. The race is “officially” too close to call. But they will call it – after they steal it.
Reuters reports that, as of 8pm eastern time, as voting concluded in Mexico, exit polls showed
Mexico City. 2 July 2006.
PRD Press Center, Hotel Marquis, Mexico City. 6:48pm. Lopez Obrador has yet to make his appearance. The woman standing next to us quietly confides that she is hoping PAN will win. As she tells us this, a little boy stands in front of three cameras waving an AMLO doll. After hours of waiting, with no sign of the progressive candidate, we make our way through the entrance of the hotel and approach a barricade of security guards. We flash our PRD press credentials and the officers wave us inside.
Upon reaching the main press room on the second floor of the hotel, we see the initial PRD exit poll data. AMLO is up by 3% but there is still 2 hours to go before the official announcement from IFE, the electoral commission. At 10:14pm the PAN party President states, “There are some polls favorable to Obrador and some polls favorable to Calderon.” Yet he does not cite PAN’s own exit poll data, suggesting to many a sceptical journalist that PAN’s own polls show Obrador ahead.
Reports are coming in that the main square in Mexico City, the Zocalo (Obrador’s strongest front), is packed and the celebration party has already begun. But, still, no one knows for sure, and won’t for another 45 minutes. Immediately following IFE’s announcement, Obrador will address the massive press corp gathered in this room. We’re all exhausted and everyone wants him to come out, declare victory, and finish his speech so we can go to the party in the Zocalo.
We had started the day at 7am. Over coffee with John Gibler in the hotel restaurant, we received confirmation that the previous night’s meeting of La Otra Campana was a disappointment to many of the supporters of the Zapatistas. This was a sentiment we shared, as the majority of the evening seemed to consist of soap box speeches and people talking over each other in a docile chaos. We then tried to hunt down an internet cafe to post the previous day’s blog. We had no luck, as most of Mexico City was shut down for the election.
Mexico City. 1 July 2006.
As a gringo, the first thing you learn upon arriving in Mexico City is that you do not take unauthorized taxis. In 2003, Mexico had the second-highest number of kidnappings in the world, with some 3,000 reported cases. The second thing you learn is that all the studying in the world will give you at best a cursory understanding of this country’s electoral politics.
Here, on the eve of what could be considered only Mexico’s 2nd multi-party democratic election in the last seventy years, feelings run unbelievably strong on all sides. With the fact that 94.5% of all eligible Mexican citizens are registered to vote, one gets the sense that the newfound democracy the country has created over the last six years is taken with more sobriety than we tend to give it in America. Aside from holding the election on a Sunday, a law is in place called La Seca which forbids the consumption of alcohol during the day before and the day of the election.
The top two candidates are reminiscent of what you would find back in the States.
There is Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador better known to the locals as AMLO. He represents the PRD, the Party of the Democratic Revolution. AMLO, an unapologetic leftist, is the former Mayor of Mexico City, and is running, according to locals we’ve talked to, “on a promise of hope.”
On the other side, you have Felipe Calderon Hinojosa, the former minister of energy under the current president, Vincente Fox. Calderon could be considered the typical favorite of the elite in any country – he was educated at Harvard and a lot of his rhetoric revolves around more neo-liberal economic themes.
After the Calderon campaign hired foreign advisors, an attack campaign was launched against Obrador – the likes of which has never been seen in Mexico. The ads, blasted over the airwaves, were evocative of American style electioneering and appeared very similar to the Swift Boat campaign against John Kerry during the 2004 Presidential election in the United States. One of the ads went so far as to compare AMLO to Hugo Chavez, the President of Venezuela. There were also ads saying that if AMLO were elected people would lose their homes. Eventually, it was taken too far and the federal election commission, IFE, had to step in.
Call it the typical fight, promises versus fear.