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Reply #5: Mexico: In Mexico, Strains Along Democracy's Path [View All]

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kpete Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-26-06 10:26 AM
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5. Mexico: In Mexico, Strains Along Democracy's Path

In Mexico, Strains Along Democracy's Path
Contested Vote Puts Electoral Reforms, Institutions to Test

By Manuel Roig-Franzia
Washington Post Foreign Service
Tuesday, July 25, 2006


"It's good that we have the institutions to channel the challenges," said Carlos Heredia, who became a leading adviser to candidate Cuauhtmoc Crdenas after his loss in the contested 1988 presidential election. "What has me concerned is whether the institutions have the confidence of the citizenry -- that's the big question in the air."

A huge Lpez Obrador rally earlier this month suggested that at least some do not have faith in the process. The candidate's supporters lampooned the system, booing each time the name of the electoral institute's chief, Luis Carlos Ugalde, was mentioned. Homemade banners read "No to the Institute of Electoral Fraud," and a sign, accompanied by a traditional Mexican skeleton figure, said "Democracy is dead."

Meanwhile, demonstrators have accused President Vicente Fox, of Caldern's National Action Party, of siding with Caldern and trying to limit their free-speech rights. Fox and Ugalde have responded to the attacks by vigorously defending the integrity of the electoral system.

But there are serious questions about the integrity of the elections court. A month before the election, the court's chief magistrate, Leonel Castillo, told Milenio magazine that the court would reject any recount request, a statement that would likely have led to demands for a recusal in a U.S. case.

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