Mexico: Electoral Tribunal refuses full recount; protests escalate in DF, Oaxaca

On Aug. 5 the seven judges of Mexico’s Electoral Tribunal of the Judicial Branch of the Federation (TEPJF) unanimously rejected a motion by center-left presidential candidate Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador for a full recount of the 41 million ballots cast in the July 2 presidential election. Instead, the TEPJF ordered inspection of ballots from 11,839 voting booths, about 9% of the total of 130,477 booths. The judges ruled that in these cases there were enough mathematical errors or other irregularities to cause concern.

Many of the votes to be examined came from the states of Jalisco and Aguascalientes, both governed by the center-right National Action Party (PAN), whose candidate, Felipe Calderon Hinojosa, won the election by 0.58% in the official count. In Jalisco the number of voting booths the TEPJF questioned is 2,705; Jalisco governor Francisco Ramirez Acuna was one of Calderon’s earliest supporters.

In a rally in Mexico City’s giant Zocalo plaza the evening of Aug. 5, Lopez Obrador’s supporters pledged to continue “civil resistance” until the TEPJF orders a full recount. “If there’s no solution, there’ll be revolution!” they chanted. Protesters have been encamped in the Zocalo and 47 other points in the capital, snarling traffic and disrupting business, since Lopez Obrador called for “permanent” protests at a massive demonstration of as many as 2.4 million on July 30. (La Jornada, Aug. 6)

Meanwhile, more protests are planned for Aug. 7 in Oaxaca, capital of the southern state of Oaxaca, to push for the removal of Gov. Ulises Ruiz Ortiz. The Popular Assembly of the People of Oaxaca (APPO), composed of some 80,000 education workers on strike since May 22 and various grassroots and leftist organizations, plans to make the state “ungovernable,” according to coordinating committee member Rogelio Pensamiento Mesinas, by blocking highways and access to the facilities of transnational companies. Pensamiento Mesinas stressed that the protesters would avoid vandalism and looting. Another coordinating committee member, Flavio Sosa, said the APPO was guaranteeing that local businesses in the Historic Center, a popular tourist attraction, wouldn’t be harmed. (LJ, Aug. 6)

On Aug. 1 some 500 women beating pots and pans blocked access to the studios of Canal 9, a state-owned television station on the outskirts of Oaxaca city, to demand that the station broadcast a message calling for Gov. Ruiz’s resignation. The protesters charged that Ruiz, of the formerly ruling Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI), had won the 2004 gubernatorial election through fraud. (El Nuevo Herald, Miami, website Aug. 1 from AP)

From Weekly News Update on the Americas, Aug. 6

See our last post on Mexico’s electoral crisis, and our last report on the struggle in Oaxaca.

  1. A reader writes…
    Received by e-mail:

    I applaud the efforts of Andres Lopez Obrador. This is something similiar to what Al Gore should have done back in the election of 2000 when George Bush was allowed {by the Supreme Court of the United States} to steal the election. Gore should have held out regardless of the political and financial risks until all the votes were counted in Florida. Like it or not, one thing that trumps capitalism and political correctness in this country is the right to have one’s vote counted. Sadly, this did not happen in 2000 and look at how this has cost the United States. Obrador is not the one charting a “reckless course” but rather it is those who have engaged in fraud to prevent the will of the people from being heard. They are the ones who must demonstrate the “rule of law over the rule of the mob.” Until then, andelay andelay; keep the protest going until every Mexican vote is counted. Joe Bialek Cleveland, Ohio USA

    1. Please inform well first before publishing this
      The tribunal did not “rejected” the total count. Lopez Obrador and his team only claimed a judgement for the amount of ballots that actually the tribunal ordered to count, what he is doing is Soap opera to be a martir, but reality is that he doesn´t have any proof to ask for that and that’s what the law claims.

      What he is asking is out of the law and there is not any evidence on the rest of the voting points to ask for that. In this case this guy believes that he is in Mexico of 30 years ago where the law can be twisted to what ever the politicians want at one moment of time, similar to what Hugo Chavez and Evo Morales are doing in Venezuela and Bolivia. But in this case the procedure was clear to everyone, they had three weeks to present all the proofs to claim a judgement on every voting point, actually he appeared on television showing a video of a supposed fraud on an voting point and actually his representant on that voting point said it was not. Reality is that the election was qualified by many internal and external observators and it was qualified as CLEAN, and this guy is crazy for power since the first day he was the major of the capitol he has been on television oposing to everything to bring the reflectors and use his position not to work but to try to be a president, so after he is really defeated he is trying to claim something the mexicans didnt want. which is an antidemocratic ruler such as the other in south america that only works for his image and it would represent going back in time 20 or 30 years. Actually Lopez Obrador at that time was on the PRI the perfect dictatorship and he left that party as far as “his friends” were not in control of it and formed this new Clone of the PRI party which is the PRD, if you read a little you will find is full of people from the PRI seeking for power at all costs.