01 November 2006

Lopez Obrador reappears

Fresh off a stinging defeat in his native Tabasco, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador surfaced in Mexico City yesterday, lending support to an APPO demonstration in Mexico City. (Lopez Obrador will be pronounced, "Legitimate President," of Mexico on Nov. 20.) APPO minimized his role, though. The Herald Mexico reports that Lopez Obrador offered to help lead a march to Los Pinos (the president's residence), but was turned down.

Lopez Obrador, could, according to University of Guadalajara political scientist Javier Hurtado, take advantage of the Oaxaca unrest, using it to delegitimize the incoming regime of Felipe Calderon.

"It's unfortunate that Lopez Obrador is getting involved," he said, adding that with Lopez Obrador on the scene, "The conflict isn't going to be resolved."

The PRD has already called for Oaxaca Governor Ulises Ruiz to resign - like the teachers' union and APPO - and its congressional delegation won't be a party to the mutual "blackmail" being carried out by the PRI and PAN. (The PRD won Oaxaca in the presidential race along with the state's two directly-elected senate seats.)

The politics underpinning the entire Oaxaca situation are downright unseemly. The congress and senate recently passed resolutions urging Ruiz to resign. But will the PRI actually force him out? That's highly doubtful. The PRI has an inglorious track record of closing ranks around losers and all sorts of oily characters - most notably: Failed presidential candidate Roberto Madrazo and Puebla Governor Mario Marin, who tried to railroad journalist Lydia Cacho last fall.

The PAN might not want to act too quickly either. As Hurtado pointed out: "If Ulises Ruiz leaves office, Felipe Calderon won't come to power," adding that an environment of ungovernability worked in Lopez Obrador's favor.

Publico columnist Joaquin Lopez-Doriga V. followed a similar theme in today's paper, writing, "Lopez Obrador isn't organizing this conflict. No, he's taking advantage and putting himself in charge.

"The opportunity is presenting itself for becoming president from the street through the advent of ungovernability."

As for Ruiz, he pledged to continue, even though he's by all accounts unable to govern and is thus often out of the state.

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