Thursday, July 13, 2006

All posts were moved (11/2006) to

Out for the count...

The always perceptive, and always on-targe Kelley Arthur Garrett, writing in the Mexico City Herald, notes that the battle now is one of perception, with Calderón's people attempting to paint AMLO as "an instigator of violence whose legal challenge of the July 2 election is based "on the simple fact that the outcome doesn´t favor him." German Martinez (I always thought of him as PAN's version of Newt Gingrich, though with his baby face and ties to the "Pious Wing" of the Party, might be their Ralph Reed), puts out an interesting "spin":
...saying the former Mexico City mayor will be "the one and only person responsible for any violence that may be generated" in the coming weeks. Martínez also insisted that the PRD and its electoral allies - the Labor and Convergence Parties, are maneuvering for a new election. "They´re looking to throw out the civic effort of 41 million Mexicans (the total number who voted) because of the simple fact that the outcome doesn´t favor him."
UHHHH... isn't the dubious nature of the vote count what's undermining those 41,000,000 people's civil efforts? AMLO's campaign manager, Manuel Camacho, said he expects the tribunal to order a full count, annul the election or declare Calderón the winner (any of which still leave plenty of time for a transition government to take over when Fox's term expires on the first of December ... this isn't the U.S., where there were only 14 weeks between the 2000 count and the January inaguaration). Moreover, he said the street protests were a healthy thing -- a non-violent way for the people (including the 65% of voters who did not support the right) to vent widespread anger among López Obrador supporters who feel the election is being stolen from them. Felipe Calderón says that to count all the ballots would be "absurdo", but he'll accept whaatever the Election Tribunal orders. Speaking to the Spanish daily El País, he claimed he could also mobilize the people... even filling Azteca Stadium (seating capacity 114, 465 ). He seems to be accepting that there will be a full count, or a recount of some kind. Who will be setting up the stadium, and who will drive the busses though? The syndicatos are threating mobilizations if there is not a "vote by vote." "ballot station by ballot station" count. ("voto por voto y casilla por casilla" sounds better in Spanish). These unions include UNAM employees, who manage the stadium. Whatever the outcome, there may be some procedural changes in the election process. Jornada reported that one problem is that the poll watchers signed tally slips without actually witnessing the tally. As I've pointed out before, the real surprise in this election was that PRD did so well nationally, being up til now as having only a limited, regional presence. In a lot of the country, you just don't have PRD voters, let alone poll watchers. American right-winger "Mark in Mexico" writes:
40,000 polling places had no PRD representative present during the voting, the counting and the tallying of results.
At any rate, AMLO's people are making the argument that just signing the tally does not mean the tally was correct -- or even actually witnessed. Probably true, and probably needing technical corrections by the next round of elections. This is going to be my last post for a few days -- As I mentioned, I'm moving to the Texas Big Bend, and have to pack my computer. I hope to get back to spending more time on Mexican history, though part of my new paying gig is to keep abreast of Mexican politics. I imagine I'll be writing more on immigration than usual, but will be maintaining this blog... though, of course, I'd welcome some "team members" to join in.


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