18 June 2008

IFE: AMLO not "legitimate president"

El Peje

David Agren
The News

The Federal Electoral Institute on Tuesday scolded the Democratic Revolution Party, or PRD, and Labor Party for referring to 2006 election runner-up Andrés Manuel López Obrador as the “legitimate president” during television commercials.

The Executive Secretary of IFE, as the election regulator is known, said using the “legitimate president” phrase was unconstitutional as the country already has an elected president, who is carrying out constitutional duties.

It added that federal electoral tribunal, or Trife, validated President Felipe Calderón’s victory. The Executive Secretary has proposed slapping the two left-wing parties with fines totaling 912,030 pesos. The full IFE board decides Wednesday if it will order the PRD and Labor Party to stop using the phrase and impose the fines.

López Obrador represented a coalition including the PRD and Labor Party in the last federal election, which he narrowly lost to President Felipe Calderón. The former candidate rejected the outcome, which he alleged was rigged, and declared himself the “legitimate president” on Nov. 20, 2006.

He also has a history of disparaging the IFE and Trife – he commented, “To hell with your institutions,” in September 2006 after the latter rejected his allegations of electoral fraud. The IFE board overseeing the 2006 election lacked PRD representation. The left-wing party walked out of 2003 negotiations for electing the board after its two main candidates were rejected.

The electoral reforms passed last fall give IFE broad powers to strike down political ads deemed negative or inappropriate.

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