Wednesday, July 12, 2006

All posts were moved (11/2006) to

Election coverage on the fly...

I'm in the middle of moving out to the Big Bend area of Texas (where I'll be editing a regional -- both U.S. and Mexican sides of the border -- on-line newspaper), so will be in and out for the next few days. I've looked at today's Universal, Jornada and Milenio. I'll translate exerpts if I get the time today. Border Hotline is subscription only, so here's a big chunk of what I wrote (c'mon... buy a subscription already!)
It’s tempting to compare the surprisingly close – and not yet resolved – Mexican presidential election to our own 2000 Election. Resist the temptation! Right off the bat there are two big differences. First, the supposed loser was not, like Gore, the heir apparent to the sitting president. Lopez Obrador was the outsider, and the three parties in his coalition had never received more than 20 percent of the national vote. No matter who is the president next December, they will have to work with the Socialists. A second difference is that in Mexico it was the president’s party that was accused of using “dirty tricks” – and engaging in computer fraud -- to manipulate the vote. And PAN, the Fox Administration’s party, isn’t just accused of working against Lopez Obrador, but against the other main candidate, the PRI-Green Party coalition candidate, Roberto Madrazo, as well. Just to make it complicated, the PRI (which has a colorful history of tipping the ballot box in their favor) is also accused of frauds designed to suppress vote for the Socialists, in a few states. ... ...very close elections are not uncommon in local elections. What was unusual was how very, very close the “Preliminary Rapid Electorial Count” (PREP, in the Spanish acronym) was. ... Unlike Florida, where the close count immediately suggested fraud, in Mexico, the “PREP” results are always checked when there is no mathematically probable winner. But, when we hear of rechecks on this side of the border, Florida naturally comes to mind. The “denuncias” Lopez Obrador (and some minor parties) filed Monday are all part of the normal process. The Elections Tribunal has heard these kinds of cases before – again, at state and municipal level, but not in a presidential election. At worst, the Tribunal would order a new election, but with Inauguration Day not until December 1, there is plenty of time to rerun the election again. The only similarity to Florida is that everybody has an opinion about who stole (or didn’t steal) what, and by how much.
Steve Lendman, a Wharton MBA and Chicago businessman, having retired in 1999, has the time and inclination to write -- and write very well -- a nicely researched pro-AMLO two-parter on the Mexican elections in his blog. John Ross covers the on-going saga from Mexico City for The Nation.


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