Presidential election 'deja vu' in Mexico? (+video)
In 2006, presidential candidate Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador declared election fraud. Today, the electoral committee is once again in the thick of a recount at his party's request.
Four days after a presidential election – in which, by a margin of 6 percent, voters chose Enrique Peña Nieto of the once all-powerful Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) – Mexico's electoral authorities are in the thick of a recount.
Election officials must recount votes at half the polling stations, as required by law if there are irregularities such as tally inconsistencies. They have said the final results for president should be clear later today and for Congress by Sunday.
Mexico is holding its breath for what lies next. The electoral institute said it doesn't expect the results to alter the victory. But it is not certain the candidate demanding the recount is going to accept the final word. Leftist Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, who came in second in the election and has not yet conceded defeat, refused to accept electoral results last time he was candidate in 2006. This time his margin of loss is far greater, and ultimately a refusal to recognize the vote could hurt the left more than anything else.
Mr. Lopez Obrador has alleged the election was an overall fraud, including unfair media attention given to the victor and allegations of widespread vote-buying by the PRI. For some, this feels like a political story on repeat: Lopez Obrador is the same man who, finding himself in second position by half a percentage point after the 2006 presidential race, also demanded a full recount. When that wish was not granted in 2006, he declared fraud and led a disruptive protest in downtown Mexico City. He never recognized the presidency of Mexico's leader Felipe Calderon.