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Mexico election challenger swears himself in as parallel president

[JURIST] Losing leftist presidential candidate Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador [campaign website, in Spanish; BBC profile] held a ceremony Monday to establish himself as the "moral" president of Mexico in his latest attempt to develop a parallel government [JURIST report] for the country. The defeated candidate is hoping to maintain the support of Mexico's poor by proposing tax reforms for the rich and fighting against business monopolies. Complete with its own cabinet, the parallel government plans to set up committees throughout the nation and solicit donations to carry out Lopez Obrador's proposed reforms since collecting taxes from Mexican citizens is not a legal option. One of the first tasks for the parallel government is attempting to stop the December 1 inauguration of presidential victor Felipe Calderon [campaign website, in Spanish; BBC profile].

Leftist supporters object to the official results of Mexico's July 2 presidential election [JURIST news archive] which gave Calderon victory by a margin of 0.6 percent. Lopez Obrador argued before the Federal Electoral Tribunal [official website, in Spanish] in late July that the election was marred by fraud [JURIST report], but the court rejected most of his challenges [JURIST report] on the grounds that there was no evidence of systematic fraud. It is uncertain how long Lopez Obrador will be able to maintain momentum since members of his Democratic Revolution Party (PRD) [party website, in Spanish] have begun to disagree with his stance that their seats in Congress should be used to protest proposals by the legal government rather than try to negotiate for changes. AP has more.

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