Becky and I are at Union Station in L.A., waiting for our train to Seattle, which is scheduled to depart at 9:30 AM.
(Mexican Hat-tip for Headline Help: AOL Latino Noticias :)
Yes, the rival Presidential candidates both claim victory in Mexico. Actually a 1.2% margin (36.9 to 35.7) is Not all that Close ~ especially when it’s a lead of 1.2 Points out of the 72.6 (not 100) cast for the Top Two who are the only real Contenders ~ BUT yeah, that’s just preliminary, unofficial, and also Preliminarily Unofficially Incomplete by a factor of 13% of the polling places, which is a lot.
However, it seems to be Close Enough to potentially portend a Major Kerfuffle south of the Border ~
Two bitter rivals declared themselves winners of Mexico’s extraordinarily close presidential race even though election officials said official results wouldn’t be ready for days — sparking cries of fraud from supporters and fears of violence.
The candidates — a conservative bureaucrat and a leftist — were separated by fewer than 300,000 votes with more than 30 million counted in a preliminary tally by electoral officials. The conservative, Felipe Calderon, had 36.9 percent to Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador’s 35.7 percent, according to results from 87 percent of polling places.
But the Federal Electoral Institute stressed those results weren’t final — and said it wouldn’t declare a victor until an official count due to start Wednesday.
Now That’s the way to Do it. :) No, Really. Everybody get some rest; then Proceed in a calm & deliberate fashion. Speed is the Enemy of Accuracy, and so is Exhaustion.
In the meantime, both candidates declared victory, raising questions about their pledges to respect an electoral process in which Mexicans invested hundreds of millions of dollars to overcome decades of systematic fraud.
“We have no doubt that we have won the presidential election,” Calderon told supporters.
“Smile: We’ve already won,” Lopez Obrador told his. “We’re going to defend our triumph. We aren’t going to let them try to make our results disappear.”
Thousands of Lopez Obrador’s supporters had gathered in a steady rain in Mexico City’s Zocalo plaza, chanting “Lie! Lie! Fraud! Fraud!” after the delay was announced.
Early Monday morning, Lopez Obrador’s Web site showed an animated cartoon version of him climbing on an Olympic-style winner’s podium and donning the red, white and green presidential sash. Calderon’s Web site showed a photo of him in front of a large, applauding crowd, overlaid with a headline reading “Felipe Calderon, President of Mexico.”
…The campaign exposed Mexico’s deep class divisions, with Lopez Obrador of the Democratic Revolution Party pledging to govern for the poor and Calderon of the ruling National Action Party seen by many as the candidate of the rich.
Many feared the close result could cause the tensions to explode.
“If Lopez Obrador is declared the loser and it’s 4 or 5 percentage points, I think you will have very ugly demonstrations in Mexico City and Oaxaca,” George Grayson, a Mexico expert at the College of William & Mary, said before the vote…
Spanish media report up to 30 people killed in a subway derailment in eastern Spain. CNN working to confirm. Visit CNN for the latest.