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Overturn election result, AMLO tells tribunal (again)

August 18, 2012

Defeated presidential candidate Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador reiterated his call for the outcome of the July 1 election to be annulled at a rally in Mexico City’s Zocalo on Sunday.

“We must continue stubbornly insisting that the Constitution be respected, that the electoral tribunal invalidates the presidential election due to all the evidence we have presented,” Lopez Obrador told supporters at the Expo Fraude 2012 meeting, the last of a tour organized by his National Regeneration Movement (MORENA) in which the public was invited to hand in evidence of electoral fraud committed by the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI).

The evidence brought forward included a wide rage of gifts for voters, such as Soriana and Monex debit cards, cell phones and phone cards, electric stoves, lamps, toys, clothing, bags of flour and frijoles, and even a goat and several chickens.

On July 12, Lopez Obrador lodged an official complaint with the Electoral Tribunal of the Federal Judiciary (TEPJF), alleging media bias in favor of Enrique Peña Nieto and accusing the PRI of violating electoral law by vote-buying, pre-marking ballots and exceeding the 336-million-peso campaign budget by 1,000 percent. On July 18, he also accused Peña Nieto of using illicit funds and money laundering to finance his campaign.

Lopez Obrador also declared himself the victim of voting fraud and Mexico’s legitimate president after losing the 2006 election by just 243,934 votes to Felipe Calderon of the National Action Party (PAN). In the ensuing months he led enormous marches, protests and acts of civil resistance in the capital, disrupting business by blocking the Paseo de la Reforma.

Those actions alienated moderate voters, ultimately damaging Lopez Obrador’s chances of winning the 2012 election, which he lost by the significantly larger margin of 3.2 million votes to the slick PRI candidate Peña Nieto.

This time around, Lopez Obrador has held off from endorsing such large-scale civil disobedience. Suggesting his opponents were behind media reports that he would take to the streets again, Lopez Obrador said on Sunday that they were “wrong” because “we are not going to commit political suicide.”

Instead, while insisting that “I will not betray the people,” and “we will continue to fight for principles and ideals,” he called on supporters to await for the decision of the TEPJF, due within the next three weeks. The tribunal must “enforce democracy in our country,” he affirmed.

It is unclear what Lopez Obrador would do if the decision does not go his way. Having been a candidate in two presidential elections, he is unlikely to get a third opportunity. His successor as Mayor of Mexico City, Marcelo Ebrard, is most likely to lead the left in the 2018 election.

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