Monday, July 17, 2006
IT AIN'T OVER UNTIL IT'S OVER
The beginning of civil resistance actions summoned by opposition candidate Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, in reply to alleged electoral fraud, began in Mexico City yesterday where more than a million marched demanding action.
Chants of "Hold on, Lopez Obrador, the people are rising up!" echoed from the crowd. Lopez Obrador's supporters compared the vote to the fraud-stained 1988 election lost by leftist candidate Cuauhtemoc Cardenas and said they are ready for a long struggle.
For hours the world's second-biggest square (after Tiananmen in Beijing) was coloured with yellow, the colour of Lopez Obrador's Democratic Revolution Party.
It was an outpouring of public support similar to the Orange Revolution that gripped Kiev after disputed elections there in 2004.
And there is good reason for the rising.
Resource Center of the Americas reports, in various localities in different states of the Mexican Republic, ballot boxes full of ballots clearly marked for Andrés Manuel López Obrador have been found in garbage dumps. There are also reports (and even videos) of intimidation of voters at various voting places. In addition, some polling places were not equipped with the materials necessary to vote, especially in the rural areas.
Election officials of the Federal Electoral Institute (IFE) counted 130,000 tally sheets, NOT ballots, in order to declare Felipe Calderón the winner by less than one percent of the vote. In the few cases where ballot boxes were opened and counted, it has been reported that more ballots were cast for Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO) than were recorded on the tally sheets. For example, in precinct 1019 in the state of Mexico, the ballot box showed 188 votes for López Obrador, but the tally sheet showed only 88.
In one more of the many instances which can't help but remind us of the 2000 Presidential election in the late, great state of Florida more than 800,000 votes were “nullified.”
And although he would be an improvement over the current President, Lopez Obrador's manifesto is not anti-imperialist and he would not be likely to make radical changes towards the left.
The people of Mexico are hungry for change.
The following is from Deutsche Presse-Agentur via Monsters and Critics web site.
More than a million people demand election recount in Mexico City
Mexico City - More than 1 million people from around Mexico converged on their capital to demand a recount in this month's presidential election.
Sunday's protest was organized by defeated left-wing candidate Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, who lost the poll by a mere 0.58 percentage points to conservative free-market advocate Felipe Calderon of the ruling National Action Party.
Lopez Obrador announced more peaceful actions would be held to protest the 'election fraud.'
'We will come together more,' he told the cheering crowd in the Zocolo, Mexico's largest square, in a speech late Sunday. 'We will bring more value to democracy. We will spare no effort for democracy. We will triumph.'
'Democracy and the country's political stability are at stake,' he added at the rally, which drew 1.1 million people, according to security officials.
The former Mexico City mayor charged that the election was tarnished by fraud and government interference, demanded a vote-by-vote recount and called for his supporters to gather for another protest on July 30. It would be the third such protest after the first Zocolo demonstration took place the weekend after the July 2 vote.
The speech by the 52-year-old followed a two-and-a-half-hour march through Mexico City that came after much longer walks and travel for many of the protesters.
The so-called March on Mexico City, saw tens of thousands of Mexicans make their way to the capital from around the country. A series of countrywide demonstrations demanding a recount began Wednesday, and many of the protestors in the Zocolo travelled for days to their destination - on foot, horseback, by motorbike or other vehicle.
In addition, countless buses filled with Obrador supporters set off from the city's suburbs Sunday.
The protesters filling the Zocolo carried placards calling for a new vote count. Many were clad in the yellow, red and black colours of Obrador's PRD election alliance and waved Mexican flags.
'There was fraud,' marcher Paulina Mantilla said. 'It is an injustice and a mockery of our country and our people.'
'If there is no agreement, there will be a revolution in Mexico,' another participant said.
The country's electoral court must rule by August 31 on a petition from Lopez Obrador and must certify the election by September 6.