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Saturday, August 05, 2006 

Mexico's Tribunal Ruling Still Leaves People Wondering

Mexico's Supreme Electoral Tribunal (known as the Trife) has decided to rejected the full recount of the country's 130,000 precincts, and only limit the count to 11,839 (9.07%) of the ballots, beginning August 9th. The partial recount ordered by the court will begin Wednesday and last for one week and the results must be submitted by August 16.

Narco News' Al Giordano has a break down of the different scenarios that can occur. And how López Obrador can still come out as a winner.
The judges rejected appeals for a full recount in the country’s 130,000 precincts (where the official tally gives Calderón the advantage by less than two votes per precinct), instead opting to limit the recount to 11,839, about nine percent of the ballots cast. Attorneys for López Obrador supplied documentation of electoral fraud in 72,000 of the country’s 130,000 precincts. In a recount of that many districts, a change of only three votes per precinct would likely reverse the official tally making López Obrador the winner. However, the court has opted for a recount in only 11,839. That means that to reverse the national tally, a difference of 21 votes per precinct toward López Obrador would be required.
Thousands of López Obrador's supporters watched the judges' make there statements on a huge screen at Zocalo – Mexico's "town square". As they watched, they chanted, "Vote by vote!" making it difficult to hear the judges' statements.

What is AMLO's next move?

According to El Universal, AMLO indicated earlier that he would not accept a partial recount:
Andrés Manuel López Obrador ratificó que no aceptará del Tribunal Electoral del Poder Judicial de la Federación (TEPJF) un conteo a medias, por lo que exhortó a los magistrados a ser la excepción del Poder Judicial y no avalar el abuso del poder.
However, things can change from the time López Obrador made his earlier statement until tonight's rally. He said he would make an official statement tonight.
Según lo acordado en la asamblea informativa celebrada la víspera, una vez que el Tribunal Electoral del Poder Judicial de la Federación (TEPJF) dé su dictamen sobre el recuento de votos, el político tabasqueño no hará ninguna declaración pública ni se dará a conocer ninguna reacción hasta que, dijo, "entre todos tomemos una determinación", en la sesión de las 19:00 horas.



I will update this post after his statement.

UPDATE 2: At last night's rally, López Obrador, blasted the court's ruling calling it legally "flimsy," according to El Universal. He further stated the reason "[t]hey don't want to open the ballots because that would be irrefutable proof that we won the election."

The problem calling somebody's bluff, your taking a hugh risk that a person will not go thru with their threats and that is exactly what happened to TEPJF. If the Court was hoping AMLO was bluffing about calling for "stiffer acts of civil resistance" from his supporters, if TEPJF rejected the full recount, TEPJF guessed wrong. AMLO is still promising to "continue with the struggle." What that meant is still up in the air and AMLO and his supporters will have to wait "to hear the new instructions" from their "coordinator."

Mean while, President Fox called for 100 federal police officers to be dispatched to Mexico City's busy international airport at the same time officers are passing out flyers warning tourists of the "potential strife" in downtown Mexico City. Another act, to make AMLO and supporters look like an angry mob.
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It is surprising the amount hate emails, spam and express your outrage of I got for my stance in this issue. I do appreciate the current discussion I have that has not turned into a flame war. I mention this because this is what true democracy is about. Debating two sides of an issue with valid points, which both parties can dicuss and decide to agree to disagree after a lengthy discussion, something we have lost in this country. Even though it is partial recount, it is a recount and that is enough of a vindication for me, because it was PANistas who were whining and telling us that any recount would be illegal. Where in the law books did they say it was illegal? Obviously, no where.

UPDATE: My own personal thoughts
What is the perdicted spin? Some would say, AMLO did get a partical victory and that should be good enough and move on. It is not that simple. There are a couple of scenarios that can occur.

Senario #1:
If recount did reverse the official tally and declared López Obrador the winner, what are the chances that Calderón, PAN and PANistas will just walk away and accept the new decission? Not very likely because they would charge that it was not a true random sample and that the voting stations that were chosen for this recount was by the PRD.

How about Washington, think the Bush Junta will quietly accept the new decission, after Dudya congratuated Calderón? No way in hell. According to USAID's Country Plan for USAID/Mexico:
Mexico, with the world's ninth largest economy, is not a traditional USAID recipient country. However, Mexico carries arguably unparalleled significance in terms of its direct linkages to U.S. foreign policy and domestic interests.

The two countries share a 2,000 mile frontier that has on average more than one million border crossings per day. Several U.S. and Mexican industries (particularly automotive and electronics) have closely-linked production chains, many U.S. businesses remain dependent on an influx of Mexican migrant labor, and many Mexican firms are highly dependent on U.S. technology and the U.S. market. Since the activation of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) in 1994, Mexico has become the second largest trading partner of the U.S., and is among the top ten export markets for 43 U.S. states. In November 2002, it became the primary supplier of crude oil to the U.S., providing almost 16 percent of imports.

Foreign Policy Interests and Goals in Mexico and Links to MPP
The strong U.S. national interest in Mexico is obvious, and the centrality of USAID's contribution to the U.S. Embassy in Mexico's Mission Performance Plan (MPP) is equally evident. In a country with 35 U.S. government agencies represented at the U.S. Embassy, the Ambassador and Country Team recognize that USAID and its program are essential to achieving U.S. Mission objectives in economic growth and development, stability and security, public diplomacy, and law enforcement and judicial systems.
It is not hard to imagine what the Bush Junta would do, look at Haiti and Venezuela.

Senario #2:
Should the vote count not change, suspicions about the IFE fixing the vote counts will not go away. People will still wonder whether those precincts were fixed, which will continue to add fuel to the fire of suspicion. Do you think the blockades, sit-ins and marches will stop. Not a chance.

The only way to dispel suspicions is to be transparent. Even if Calderón didn't steal the election, he will have to govern in a country where half of the country is convinced he did.

There is more to come and uncertainty continues in Mexico.

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