Mexico: Lopez Obrador refuses to recognize election result, calls for street protest


Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, runner-up in the Mexican presidential election, announces he wants a full vote recount during a press conference in Mexico City on July 3, 2012.

GUADALAJARA, Mexico – Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador has refused to recognize a court ruling that President-elect Enrique Peña Nieto won the Mexican election and he has called for a “peaceful” demonstration on September 9, El Universal reported today.

Lopez Obrador, the silver-haired presidential candidate for the Party of the Democratic Revolution, was runner-up in the July 1 poll and has accused Peña Nieto of using illicit money to buy five million votes and ply voters with supermarket gift cards, chickens and bags of cement to secure their support.

But the electoral court ruled late Thursday that there was insufficient evidence of wrongdoing and upheld the original result that showed Pena Nieto won 38 percent of the vote to Lopez Obrador’s 31 percent, paving the way for the Institutional Revolutionary Party to return to power after 12 years in opposition. 

More from GlobalPost: Mexico electoral court upholds Enrique Peña Nieto election victory

"I am telling the people of Mexico that I cannot accept the judgment of the electoral tribunal that declared the presidential election valid," Lopez Obrador told a news conference in Mexico City earlier today, the Associated Press reported.

"The elections were not clean, free and genuine. As a result, I will not recognize an illegitimate power that's emerged as a result of vote-buying and other grave violations of the constitution and the law."

The BBC reported that the former mayor of Mexico City, who was runner-up in the 2006 presidential election, called on his supporters to hold a demonstration in the capital’s main square on September 9.

It is not clear if Lopez Obrador plans to launch street marches like the ones that paralyzed parts of Mexico City for several weeks in the wake of the 2006 election, which he lost by a razor-thin margin.

After the electoral commission decision was announced, Peña Nieto tweeted that it was "time to start a new phase of work on Mexico's behalf." 

More from GlobalPost: Coverage of Mexico's 2012 elections

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