Court names conservative Calderon Mexico’s president-elect

Leftist rival Lopez Obrador, who challenged results, won’t accept the decision and readies parallel government

Mexico’s top electoral court Tuesday named conservative candidate Felipe Calderon president-elect after more than two months of controversies about the results of July 2 elections. His leftist rival, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, vowed not to recognize Calderon, as he is ready to head a parallel government backed in the streets by millions of supporters that have already peacefully seized the country’s capital.

According to the electoral court, whose rulings cannot be appealed, the vote was not rigged as Lopez Obrador’s Party of the Democratic Revolution (PRD) denounced- and pro-business candidate Calderon had won by a razor-thin margin of about 234,000 votes out of some 41 million cast. Judges ruled out PRD denounces about vote rigging and refused to order a full recount of the ballots.

The ruling puts an end to weeks of legal controversies, but, according to observers the political unrest will go on as PRD supporters say they won’t give up the fight. Outside the tribunal building, hundreds of protesters burned posters of the incumbent president Vicente Fox’s face and chanted slogans against his government. PRD supporters believe that Fox’s National Action Party (PAN) is behind the fraudulent victory of fellow PAN member, Felipe Calderon.

Lopez Obrador, the leader of the Mexican democratic left that campaigned promising to give priority to Mexico’s poor majority, has said he will set up a parallel government with support from the streets. He accuses judges, electoral authorities, media and big business of forming a powerful front against him, and vows to make life unbearable for Calderon in his six years in office, which starts on Dec. 1.

PRD supporters tried to block the court’s rule by setting off fireworks at the gates of the building. Judges had to spend the night in the court’s house as they were told that they could not get in the building Tuesday morning.

Felipe Calderon was director of the state-owned development bank and was appointed energy minister by President Vicente Fox. He quit nine months later, in May 2004, after a dispute with Fox over his presidential ambitions.

As the national Congress is split in thirds, Calderon hopes to win support from the Institutional Revolutionary Party, which ruled Mexico for 71 years until 2000 and was humbled into third place in the July elections.

Hernan Etchaleco

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Author`s name Dmitry Sudakov