Judges declare Calderon the winner in Mexico election

| 9/6/2006

A panel of seven judges has declared that Felipe Calderon will lead Mexico after Dec. 1, but that is not stopping his opponent from protesting the decision.

The judges on Tuesday declared Calderon the winner over Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador by just 233,831 votes out of 41.6 million ballots cast July 2 – a margin of 0.56 percent, The Associated Press reported.

Calderon, of the National Action Party, will succeed Vicente Fox, who was elected from the same party roots in 2000.

Fox had been the first Mexican president elected from an opposition party since 1910, defeating the National Revolutionary Party and Institutional Revolutionary Party.

Calderon is now the second leader to do the same.

Lopez Obrador, of the Democratic Revolution Party, has protested for months that Fox and Calderon spearheaded an advertising campaign against him, alleging that Calderon defrauded voters while openly comparing Obrador to Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez.

The judges dismissed Lopez Obrador’s claims. Lopez Obrador vowed to undermine the Calderon government, The AP reported, while Democratic Revolution supporters hurled eggs and trash at the courthouse in Mexico City.

Both party leaders have asked their followers to remain peaceful, The AP reported, and there had been no reports of violence at the protests.

The White House issued a statement congratulating Calderon on his victory and the judges’ decision.