What will Tancredo do?
REUTERS/Mario Castillo (MEXICO)
Sit on my finger Tancredo
Mexican standoff as firebrand of left edges ahead in polls
Ronald Buchanan, Mexico City
WEALTHY Mexicans are nervous that next Sunday’s presidential election will be won by Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, a leftist who proclaims himself a champion of the poor and whose supporters dress as cockerels. They are equally nervous about what might happen if Lopez Obrador loses.
After a hard-fought race against Felipe Calderon, his main conservative rival, Lopez Obrador, the former mayor of Mexico City, enters the final week of campaigning with a two-point opinion poll lead.
The closeness of the campaign and the passions it has aroused have raised the spectre of an inconclusive result that could lead to paralysis if Lopez Obrador claims he is being cheated of victory.
The threats of mass demonstrations and court challenges are complicating the outlook for the world’s most populous Spanish-speaking country.
Concerned that delays in the counting process might inflame accusations of fraud, the local election commission promised last week to announce the result within hours of the polls closing. One aide to Lopez Obrador forecast that the candidate would not call on his supporters to “shut down offices, cause chaos or problems” if Calderon emerges the winner: “We will go to the courts instead.”
Yet all the evidence suggests that Mexico is split down the middle about the charismatic 52-year-old candidate whose critics have likened him to Hugo Chavez, the Venezuelan president who is attempting to build an anti-US alliance across Latin America.
With the tropical sun beating down last week Lopez Obrador appeared at a raucous rally in Salina Cruz, southern Mexico, wearing a straw hat and a garland of flowers. Shrugging off criticism from President Vicente Fox, who has described him as a “dangerous populist”, the man universally known by his initials, Amlo, brought the house down with a sharp riposte: “I say to Fox: shut up, chachalaca.”
If he wins, the US right deserves a lot of credit
posted by Steve @ 12:10:00 AM