Author`s name Olga Savka

Mexican leftist mayor strengthened after surviving a conservative coup

New polls conducted show that 84 of the population support Lopez Obrador

Shortly after massive demonstrations in Mexico aborted a conservative coup aimed to deprive city mayor Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador from his rights to run for 2006 presidential elections, recent polls show that chances of the leftist leader have increased. According to a research published by the local newspaper Reforma, Lopez Obrador's popularity has surged to 84 percent this month, as the case filed against him by the Parliament has been seen by the population as unjust and politically motivated.

Lopez Obrador supporters claim Mexican President Vicente Fox, his party and other political parties pursued false charges against the mayor involving allegations of being in contempt of court. Massive demonstrations in Mexico City to support the embattled mayor aborted the conservative coup that could have led to an institutional crisis, as millions would have been deprive of the their right to elect a certain candidate for presidency.

Last week, Fox's attorney general, who had been vigorously pursuing the case against the mayor, resigned, indicating Fox might be relenting and looking for a way to end to the case. Lopez Obrador has maintained his opponents brought the case to force him out of the July 2006 presidential election, for which he currently is the most popular candidate.

The case is a serious political defeat for Mexico's conservative parties and for Fox, himself, who was personally involved in the dubious moves to set Lopez Obrador aside. The other force damaged by the irresponsible move is the Institutional Revolutionary Party, or PRI, which ruled the country for 71 years until Fox took office in 2000.

In an attempt to keep some control of the political situation President Fox said this week that the presidential race will be open and fair to all. A spokesman for President Vicente Fox had indicated last week that the legal issues that threatened the candidacy of Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador would go away long before next year's election.

Official comments try to deactivate the massive protests that even when have been conducted by peaceful means threatened to emerge as a permanent tension between the palace and the streets. That would be the worst scenario for the incumbent President if he is still committed to head the transition from the one-party system to a full democracy.

On the photo: Mexico's mayor Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador

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