About one million Mexicans demanded a new vote recount of Mexico presidential election.
Amid calls for a civil resistance campaign to protest fraud, around one million of Mexicans Sunday demanded a new vote recount of the presidential election and backed the bid of the defeated leftist candidate Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador to challenge the official results in courts. The impressive crowd marched through the country’s capital to El Zocalo square, the historical center of the city, chanting “You are not alone” to make public the support of the masses to the leader of the Party of the Democratic Revolution (PRD).
"We are going to start peaceful civil resistance to defend democracy," Lopez Obrador told supporters, some of whom walked, traveled on battered old buses or even rode on horseback to the capital from around the country. According to observers, the size of the protest, bigger than a similar demonstration last week, gave Lopez Obrador a lift in his attempt to persuade an election court to declare him winner.
According to the official results released by the Mexican Federal Electroal Institute (IFE) three days after the July 2 vote, conservative ruling party candidate Felipe Calderon won by 0.58 percentage point, or just over 240,000 votes.
Along last week, Lopez Obrador presented what he called “clear evidence” of the fraud comitted by government officials during the election day. At least two videotapes where made public of members of the electoral council introducing ballots in the already closed poll boxes.
The IFE rejected allegations and confirmed the results released two weeks ago. According to analysts, the dispute threatens to further divide Mexico along geographic and class lines. Lopez Obrador won in the mainly poor southern states, while Calderon swept most of the more-affluent north and northwest.
After the legal demand filed by Lopez Obrador, the electoral tribunal has to decide by September 6 whether to ratify the IFE numbers or ask for a full recount of the votes. In the meantime fears of a political gridlock and even unrest and violence have been raisen in a key Latin American country.