[JURIST] A spokesman for Mexican President Vicente Fox [official website, in Spanish; BBC profile] said Friday that citizens should show respect for the law as the Electoral Tribunal of the Federal Judiciary [official website] continues to evaluate the results of the country's contested July 2 presidential election [JURIST report]. Spokesman Ruben Aguilar [official profile] stressed the administration's decision to not interfere with the court's process and said the decision will be made in adherence to the law without any illegal pressure or blackmail efforts. Mexico's Federal Election Institute (IFE) [official website, in Spanish] originally announced that conservative candidate Felipe Calderon [campaign website, in Spanish; Wikipedia profile] had won more votes than opposing candidate Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador [campaign website, in Spanish; Wikipedia profile]. But the results were met with allegations of fraud by Obrador's camp who have petitioned [JURIST report] the electoral court for a "vote by vote" recount of the ballots. Obrador has meanwhile called for a campaign of "peaceful civil resistance" [JURIST report] to protest the results.
The Electoral Court [official website, in Spanish] will begin holding hearings with opposing party members in the coming week to help determine the election's outcome. A deadline of August 31 has been set for the court to come to a final decision on the contested election and the body must announce the winner on September 6. President Fox will officially step down on December 1. Mercopress has more.