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Court challenge looms as Calderon wins official Mexico presidential vote count

[JURIST] Mexican ruling party candidate Felipe Calderon [campaign website, in Spanish; Wikipedia profile] narrowly won Sunday's presidential election [JURIST report] with some 220,000 votes more than leftist candidate Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador [campaign website, in Spanish; Wikipedia profile], according to official results released Thursday by Mexico's Federal Electoral Institute (IFE) [official website, in Spanish]. Lopez Obrador said, however, that he would challenge the result in court, pledging to petition the Electoral Tribunal of the Federal Judiciary [official website] for a full manual recount of all ballots [JURIST report], even though the president of the IFE has already said that the sealed ballots could be reopened only in "exceptional cases" and that the preliminary count had been done in the presence of the parties. Mexican election laws [PDF text, in Spanish] permit a manual recount only if the ballot packages have been unsealed or if the initial tallies are faulty.

Lopez Obrador now has four days to file his challenge with the Electoral Tribunal and the court will have until September 6 to certify the winner. Reuters has more. BBC News has additional coverage.

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