Sunday, July 02, 2006


Lopez Obrador claims victory

Officially, newswires say it's too close to call at this moment. If so, Bush can claim to have destroyed conservative control over yet another country. If not, and if there are any questions about the election, Mexico is headed into crisis. Lopez Obrador is no John Kerry. He specificially thanked the poor, "la gente humilde," and made it clear that he understands that for them, politics is no game. Update: Calderon is also claiming victory. But there are indicators that the win will not be regarded as clean. According to Traci Carl of the AP: "many voters complained polls opened late or ran out of ballots....In Guerrero state, two poll workers were shot to death before the polls opened...Many polling stations opened late, forcing voters to wait more than an hour to cast their ballots....In Nezahualcoyotl, a slum of 1.2 million people east of Mexico City ... voting was delayed by flooding from a powerful hail storm the night before." Sound familiar? Prediction: Impending crisis maybe a 30% probability. Update: As of 11:50 Mexico City Time, La Jornada is reporting 41% of the vote counted, and PAN (Calderon) with 38% and PRD (Obrador) with 36%. Update: Preliminary results are available at El Universal or at the media outlet of your choice via the Federal Election Institute. Half the vote has been counted, and Calderon is up by 433,000 votes. Oh... and almost 2% of ballots are spoiled. Another interesting statistic that may have much to do with whether Mexico melts down tomorrow. Update, 7/3: Calderon's official margin on the preliminary count appears to be 1% of the vote, roughly 350K votes. Lopez Obrador's rhetoric is a little cooler, but he continues to signal that he believes he won the election. Whatever the outcome, I doubt that anyone is going to believe that Calderon won this cleanly. Especially not with 2% spoilage.
Excelsior has Calderon (PAN) up by a bare percentage point, with 2.14% ballot spoilage.

NPR was rather interesting this morning. They made a poing of talking to partisans on both sides, both of whom are ready to cry fraud if the other guy wins. I expect this to have a "cancelling out" effect, so that when the fraud allegations on either side are made, they will be discounted.
That's playing to the US audience. It's not going to cancel out in Mexico. Everyone knows where those spoiled votes are from.

If PAN is playing to the US, the chances of national meltdown are only rising.
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