President &to=http:// english.pravda.ru/world/20/91/368/14948_Mexico.html ' target=_blank>Vicente Fox fired his attorney general on Wednesday to try to end a crisis over obscure legal charges that threaten to knock Mexico's most popular politician out of 2006 presidential elections.
The move was a major victory for Mexico City's leftist mayor, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, who holds a clear lead in polls for the elections but would be blocked from running if he is found guilty in the case.
Backing down to intense pressure, Fox said fired Rafael Macedo, the attorney general who led the campaign to put Lopez Obrador on trial for contempt of court charges in a minor land dispute, informs Reuters.
According to the Kansas City Star, the move, analysts said, is likely to defuse a mushrooming conflict between the Fox government and the leftist opposition that has raised concerns in Washington, on Wall Street and in international financial markets.
Macedo de la Concha had led the charge against Mayor &to=http:// english.pravda.ru/world/20/91/368/15286_obrador.html ' target=_blank>Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, who faces a minor charge of defying a judge's order to half construction of a hospital access road four years ago.
Despite the nature of the charges, Mexico's lower chamber of deputies stripped the mayor of his legal immunity and under Mexican law Lopez Obrador would be barred from running for office if a judge were to put him on trial.
The Mexico City mayor is the early frontrunner in the runup to the 2006 presidential election and opinion surveys show that most Mexicans view the charges against him as politically motivated. Fox cannot run for re-election.