Wednesday, August 15, 2012

A sheep, a sheep! Mexico's election, for a sheep!

"A horse, a horse! My kingdom for a horse!" - Richard III, Wm. Shakespeare (1591)

Shakespeare's history-based masterpiece refers to the brutal death of King Richard III on Bosworth Field in August 1485, at the hands of the rebellious Henry Tudor and his contingent of local and French mercenaries. King Richard was the last British monarch to die in battle (an amazing fact, since more than 500 years later England still has one). Some accounts of the vicious fight have suggested that the king was done in by the great white horse he rode, which may have tired or been injured during the fierce hand to hand combat. But alas, no other was to be had. King Richard's head was split open by the rebels, and so in very bloody fashion the curtain of history came down on the House of York.

Now a sheep, and other farm animals as well, are being used as evidence in a Mexican federal court proceeding which will determine once and for all who won the country's July 1 presidential election -- and whether it was stolen away from the runner up, who's crying foul (and fowl, literally).

Defeated Democratic Revolution Party (PRD) candidate Manuel López Obrador claims that he lost the contest due to massive fraud and carried his case to the special electoral court, which is presently considering the matter. The tribunal's decision is due within three weeks. As the challenger the legal burden of proof rests upon López Obrador, and he's demonstrating great enthusiasm for the task.

He and PRD have asserted, among other things, that votes were bought with gift cards from the huge Mexican grocery chain Soriana - an allegation which the company says has resulted in violence against its stores and a severed head in one of its parking lots. And in recent days the leftist forces have been marshaling all sorts of physical evidence of the claimed fraud, including farm animals which (allegedly) were used to buy votes from those who preferred their payback in livestock rather than on a gift card. Party loyalists have been hauling the evidence to Mexico City for the federal court's review. Not surprisingly, the national press is enjoying it all immensely.

The court will announce in September whether the election was lost over a sheep - or a herd of them. The officially certified difference between declared election winner Enrique Peña Nieto and Manuel López Obrador was more than 3.3 million votes, which could add up to a lot of gooseneck trailers.

Aug. 15 - The seven judges of Mexico's federal electoral court ruled today that Manuel López Obrador will not be allowed to participate in arguments on whether the July 1 presidential election results should be nullified. His party, PRD, will do so through its attorneys and representatives, but AMLO missed a July 12 deadline to apply for permission to intervene personally in the proceeding. In legal lingo, he lacks "standing" to appear before the court, and that's just as fatal under Mexican law as in is under U.S. law. Niega Tribunal a AMLO comparecer como coadyuvante.

July 21 - Mexico facing greater political crisis this year than in 2006, says commentator
July 11 - Memo to Andrés Manuel López Obrador: "Ya basta, señor"

Richard III carried many titles, history records, including Chief Justice of North Wales, Chief Steward and Chamberlain of Wales, High Sheriff of Cumberland, Lord High Admiral of England, Lieutenant of the North, Commander-in-Chief against the Scots, Warden of the West Marches, and Lord Protector of the Realm. None of those honorifics did him any good when his trusted mount gave out in the most important battle of his life. AMLO's animal troubles will likely prove far less memorable.

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