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Mexico to destroy presidential ballots after disputed election

[JURIST] The paper ballots from Mexico's disputed July 2 presidential election [JURIST news archive] will be destroyed under the order of the Federal Electoral Tribunal [official website, in Spanish], despite objections from President-elect Felipe Calderon [campaign website, in Spanish; BBC profile] who wanted the ballots preserved in an effort to strengthen public confidence in his controversial victory. In a letter to Calderon, the electoral court said it made the decision according to existing law, which mandates that election ballots be destroyed once a candidate has been declared victorious. Though the electoral court declared Calderon the winner [JURIST report] last week, opposition candidate Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador [campaign website, in Spanish; BBC profile] has refused to recognize [JURIST report] Calderon's victory. Lopez Obrador has also said he plans to establish a parallel government [press release, in Spanish] representing what he called a "true, authentic republic."

Lopez Obrador argued before the court that preliminary results [JURIST report] giving Calderon a victory by just 0.6 percent of the vote were marred by fraud [JURIST report], but the court rejected most of Lopez Obrador's challenges [JURIST report] on the grounds that there was no evidence of systematic fraud. BBC News has more.

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