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Mexico presidential challenger calls for 'civil resistance' in bid for manual recount

[JURIST] Mexican leftist presidential candidate Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador [campaign website, in Spanish; Wikipedia profile], who lost the July 2 presidential election [JURIST report] by 0.6 percent of the vote to conservative Felipe Calderon [campaign website, in Spanish; Wikipedia profile], asked supporters Sunday to begin a campaign of "peaceful civil resistance" to bring about a manual recount of the election. Without specifying what supporters should do to facilitate a recount, Lopez Obrador said that Mexico needs a manual recount "for the economic, political and financial stability of the country," while Lopez Obrador adviser Manuel Camacho added that whomever officially wins the election may struggle to govern Mexico without a manual recount for verification.

Lopez Obrador filed a petition in the Federal Electoral Court (TRIFE) [official website, in Spanish] last week asking the court to order a manual recount because of alleged fraud [JURIST reports] and dirty campaign practices relation to the election, claiming that some polling stations counted more votes than registered voters, the ruling party helped finance Calderon's campaign, and that a software program skewed initial vote-count reports. Lopez Obrador later added new evidence [JURIST report] for his claims of extensive fraud, showing reporters television ads by several consumer product companies allegedly containing subliminal messages supporting the campaign of Calderon, and accusing election officials - even some of his own poll workers - of manipulating vote counts. TRIFE has until September 6 to declare a winner of the election. AP has more.

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