Vote recount begins in Mexico

Mexico has begun to double-check a ballot tally from the recent presidential election with the leading left-wing candidate saying the confusion surrounding the vote could threaten the country's stability.

    Vote counts from 138,500 polling stations are being checked

    The tally gave Felipe Calderon, the business-friendly conservative candidate for the ruling National Action Party (NAP), a slim victory over Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, from the left-leaning Party of the Democratic Revolution (PRD).

    The verification process begun on Wednesday should last several days, but claims of widespread irregularities could complicate and delay the procedure.

    Meanwhile Lopez Obrador, the standard-bearer of the Party of the Democratic Revolution (PRD), reiterated his demand for a full manual recount of the 42 million votes cast on Sunday.

    "The stability of the country is at stake," he said.

    Calderon maintained that victory was his. "We can guarantee we have won the election," he said.

    Demonstration threat

    If he does not have his demands met, Lopez Obrador could urge millions of his supporters onto the streets to protest. But Calderon hinted that he could do the same.

    Supporters of Lopez Obrador say
    their man has been robbed

    "We could also call for protests, but the vote can't be replaced by demonstrations," he said.

    He criticised Lopez Obrador's allegations that the vote was tainted, saying: "They are trying to undermine an election without having the results to back it up."

    Figures announced on Tuesday narrowed Calderon's advantage to just more than 257,500 votes, from an initial 402,700, leaving him with a lead of only 0.6 points.

    The Federal Electoral Office (IFE) said the new figures took into account 2.58 million ballots that had been set aside because they appeared to contain inconsistencies.

    Long process

    IFE and political party officials on Wednesday started double-checking the vote counts sent in from the 138,500 polling stations to the 300 district-level offices.

    Early in the day, PRD representatives demanded in several cases that specific tallies be compared with the actual ballots.
     

    "I believe we won't know for quite some time who will be the president"

    Ana Maria Salazar, legal expert


    Once the verification process is completed, the parties have four days to raise legal objections, which will be considered by the Federal Electoral Tribunal, the ultimate authority in electoral disputes.

    The IFE has until Sunday to announce a president-elect but the final outcome might only be decided by the tribunal, which must render its verdict on September 6.

    "I believe we won't know for quite some time who will be the president," said Ana Maria Salazar, a legal expert.

    SOURCE: Agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    Russian-Saudi relations could be very different today, if Stalin hadn't killed the Soviet ambassador to Saudi Arabia.

    Interactive: Coding like a girl

    Interactive: Coding like a girl

    What obstacles do young women in technology have to overcome to achieve their dreams? Play this retro game to find out.

    The War in October: What Happened in 1973?

    The War in October: What Happened in 1973?

    Al Jazeera examines three weeks of war from which both Arabs and Israelis claimed to emerge victorious.