13 October 2006

AMLO in tough at home

Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador has seemingly dropped out of sight since being declared the "legitimate president of Mexico" on Sept. 16 while his election opponent - and the official winner of the race - Felipe Calderon basks in the media spotlight.

This Sunday's Tabasco gubernatorial election could change that - should the PRD win - or hasten Lopez Obrador's descent into obscurity and irrelevence. Polls and analysts are suggesting the latter should happen, although the race is close. A telling Grupo Reforma poll last week said most PRI voters would back their party's gubernatorial candidate, who also would receive enough support from dissatisfied Lopez Obrador voters to possibly pull out the win. As for the PAN, the party claimed a paltry three percent of votes on July 2 and shouldn't be a factor.

But even if the PRD pulls out a win in Tabasco, Lopez Obrador gains little. As in Chiapas - a state the PRD barely won recently - some of the PRD leadership recognizes Felipe Calderon as President-elect. This, more than any tactical blunders after July 2 on Lopez Obrador's part, sabotages his bid to lead an alternate government, or more accurately, an effective protest movement. The PRD is more than Lopez Obrador, whose aspirations and behavior are damaging the party more than any PAN attack ad ever could.


Thirteen PRD supporters were arrested for supposedly planning to sabotage Sunday's election. The PRI currently governs the oil-rich state, which has a long and calamitous history of holding not-so-fair elections, so detaining perredistas on the eve of the vote obviously looks suspicious. Sadly for the PRD, though, the party now has a reputation of not abiding by election results and being democratic only when it suits it best. Thus, when it cries foul - and perhaps quite justly in this situation - the public will imply ignore them.

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