Wednesday, July 18, 2012

López Obrador will take his case to Inter-American Court if vote challenge fails

Mérida, Yucatán --
Defeated PRD presidential candidate Manuel López Obrador has announced tentative plans to carry his allegations of voter fraud and other claimed irregularities in Mexico's July 1 election to the Inter-American Court of Human Rights.

The candidate's team members said that they would first wait for a ruling on legal challenges filed by the Democratic Revolution Party, which are anticipated in early September. The case is now pending before a Mexican federal court which has the power to review disputed election results, after those results have been certified by the nation's Federal Electoral Institute (IFE). Ten days ago the IFE declared PRI candidate Enrique Peña Nieto the winner by a margin of 6.62%, or about 3.3 million votes of the approximately 50 million votes cast in the presidential contest. The court has appointed a panel to review AMLO's claims, which has made it clear that it expects hard evidence, not just allegations.

The Inter-American Court is the litigation branch of its sister agency, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights. Both are autonomous structures of the Organization of American States, which has 35 members, including the U.S. But although it's denominated a court the tribunal has little enforcement muscle. It can and does make findings of fact and issues opinions in those cases which it chooses to hear. But they are advisory only, and the court has no power to impose its judgments on a state unwilling to accept them. Last year Mexico chose to accept the ruling of the court in a controversial, decade old case, which consisted of little more than a very public apology to a young woman who was raped by Mexican troops in a remote province. Mexico apologizes for rape of 17 year old - after a decade of litigation.

Acknowledging that the presentation of an internal election dispute to the court would be extraordinary, an adviser to the López Obrador campaign said, "We're going to argue that the civil and political rights of all Mexicans were violated. It's a legal hypothesis which can't be excluded."

The general secretary of Mexico's National Action Party (PAN), whose candidate Josefina Vázquez Mota accepted PRI's victory within 30 minutes after exit polls were released on the evening of July 1, today dismissed PRD's continuing legal challenges. "Enrique Peña Nieto will be sworn in on Dec. 1," she predicted.

July 19 - Leaders of the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) said today they plan to file a counter complaint with the Mexican court hearing the election dispute. They claim López Obrador is violating the rights of millions who voted for Enrique Peña Nieto, with spurious claims of fraud and voting irregularities for which no proof has been or can be presented.

Spain's El País blasts López Obrador
Memo to Andrés Manuel López Obrador: "Ya basta, señor"

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