Mexico's Fox expects a peaceful recount
By ASSOCIATED PRESS
Published August 11, 2006
MEXICO CITY - President Vicente Fox said Thursday he is confident that the country's disputed presidential election will be resolved peacefully and that Mexico's young democracy will emerge stronger after its greatest test yet.
In an interview, Fox said he does not believe protests will turn violent after the Federal Electoral Tribunal declares a president-elect. This despite supporters of leftist Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador who have set up permanent protest camps in the city's center and vow to ignore the court's ruling.
He said he believes most Mexicans have confidence in the system created to overcome decades of electoral fraud during previous governments.
Mexico's electoral authorities "will win in the end," Fox predicted. "I don't see any problems along the way."
Fox said he expects to hand over the presidential sash to a new leader when he leaves office Dec. 1.
Millions of Lopez Obrador's supporters have vowed to reject the tribunal's decision unless it reverses itself and orders a full recount, rather than the review of 9 percent of the 130,000 polling places that began on Wednesday.
Scores of Lopez Obrador supporters briefly blockaded the Treasury Department and the Attorney General's Office on Thursday, while about 300 others marched toward Mexico City's international airport before police persuaded them to turn away. Others briefly blocked finance and prosecutors' offices in cities across the nation.
The initial count, which will not be certified by the tribunal until after the partial recount is completed, showed Lopez Obrador trailing Felipe Calderon of Fox's National Action Party by less than 1 percent, or about 240,000 votes. Lopez Obrador has alleged widespread fraud and is demanding a recount of all 41-million votes.
Authorities have until Sunday to finish the partial recount. On Thursday, National Action Party General-Secretary Cesar Nava said officials were about 40 percent done and had found no major problems. He expected them to finish late today or early Saturday.
[Last modified August 11, 2006, 01:36:21]
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