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Mexico City mayor waits for arrest as pardon floated

[JURIST] The hopes of Mexico City Mayor Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador [World Mayor profile] for a presidential run in the 2006 national election remained uncertain Friday after a strange turn of events Thursday that saw current Mexican president Vicente Fox [official website] do an apparent about-face on the possibility of a pardon on criminal charges related to his alleged involvement in a land expropriation dispute. Early in the day Fox's director of international media said that Fox would consider pardoning Obrador, but within hours Fox chief spokesperson Ruben Aguilar [government website, in Spanish] said Fox was not considering a pardon. The conflicting reports come one week after Obrador announced he would surrender to authorities [JURIST report] after the Mexican Congress striped him of imunity from prosecution. No effort has as yet been made to formally arrest him. Some suspect that Fox considered the pardon to quiet allegations that Obrador's prosecution is a smokescreen to block the popular candidate’s expected run for president. The lead federal prosecutor in the case said this week that the case has not been presented to a judge. AP has more.

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