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Author`s name Alex Naumov

Mexicans deepen civil disobedience to protest presidential vote count

Former leftist candidate, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, camped out in the streets of the Capital demanding full ballot recount.

Unrest grows in Mexico as supporters of Mexico's leftist candidate Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador deepen a civil disobedience campaign to force a full recount of the July 2 presidential vote. After Sunday’s 1.2 million massive rally, thousands of Mexican citizens camped out in the streets of Mexico City on Monday in support of Lopez Obrador, who is challenging electoral results that gave victory to his conservative rival Felipe Calderon.

Many of the protesters pitched their tents along Reforma Avenue , one of the city's main arteries, erecting an eight-kilometer (five-mile) blockade that caused massive traffic jams and turned parts of the Mexican Capital into pedestrian zones. Others blocked the access to main public buildings, something that made investors to feel nervouis and the city’s stock exchange to drop.

Lopez Obrador’s leftist Party for the Democratic Revolution (PRD), said that it will consider nothing else but victory and demanded a vote-for-vote recount in courts. The elctoral tribunal weighing allegations that fraud gave ruling party candidate Felipe Calderon a slight advantage in the July 2 election. It has until Sept. 6 to declare a president-elect or annul the elections.

"I suggest we stay here, in a permanent assembly, until the resolution of the court," Lopez Obrador said during Sunday's protest rally, the third since the election, in the historical center of the Mexican Capital, the Zocalo Square . "I myself will be living in one of those sites," he told the 1.2 million crowd. Then, asked his backers to set up 47 camping sites across the city's main thoroughfares, promising they would be entertained with art and performances while peacefully lobbying for his cause.

The ruling National Action Party (PAN) branded Lopez Obrador's statements as "schizophrenic,” and insisted Calderon’s victory was irreversible. PAN’s spokesman Cesar Nava said protests were "acts of aggression." Nava insisted the blockades violated a rule set up by Lopez Obrador himself when he was mayor, which prohibits blocking the city's major arteries. He also accused the current mayor, who is also from the PRD, of spending more time supporting the leftist candidate than running the city.

Current political scenario in Mexico resembles the 1988 presidential vote lost by the PRD, almost certainly due to government manipulation of the vote count to help its own candidate. By that time the candidate and founder of the PRD party Cuhautemoc Cardenas won the elections, but the well organized fraud system masterminded by the then-ruling PRI Party allowed his conservative opponent Carlos Salinas de Gortari to take over presidency.

Hernan Etchaleco

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