Author`s name Pravda.Ru

Mexico: leftist to demand vote-by-vote recount

Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, who campaigned on uplifting Mexico's poor, trailed business-friendly rival Felipe Calderon by more than 400,000 votes in a preliminary count, although electoral officials say they'll declare no winner until after a time-consuming official count that begins Wednesday.

There were some fears that Lopez Obrador's refusal to accept Calderon's apparent victory could throw the country into turmoil. But Lopez Obrador also is haunted by Mexico's memories of 1988, when many believe the then-dominant Institutional Revolutionary Party stole a victory from candidate Cuauhtemoc Cardenas, who went on to found Lopez Obrador's party.

Now Lopez Obrador's allegations of irregularities threaten to drag out the process for weeks, if not months, putting Mexico's young democracy to the test.

The former Mexico City mayor explained that officials had estimated a voter turnout of about 41 million or 42 million, yet preliminary vote tallies by Mexico's Federal Electoral Institute only showed about 38 million ballots cast.

As a result, the institute's first count is something that "we cannot accept," he said.

Members of Lopez Obrador's Democratic Revolution Party said there were indications that the preliminary count may have been manipulated to favor Calderon's National Action Party, the party of President Vicente Fox. The Federal Electoral Institute did not respond to the allegation, according to the AP.