Mexico has a similar annual political event to the USA’s State of the Union address given by the President to Congress. It’s a big event here, as I found out last year. I was about to get of the Metro at Chabacano only to discover the train went right through without stopping, past half a dozen stations in the centre of the city before dumping me miles from where I needed to be. All in the name of security I guess.
This year was to be Vicente Fox’s last State of the Nation address before he steps down in November, but unfortunately for him the huge protests over the controversial election in July haven’t abated. In fact they are increasing daily as we get closer to the official announcement next week from IFE, when they will declare a winner.
The winner will be Felipe Calderon, of that there is no doubt. His beaten rival, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, has exhausted all his legal arguments, the votes that were authorised for recounting have been recounted, and the result hasn’t changed. The EU observers have declared the election free and fair with no reason to suspect fraud, but Mr Obrador will have none of it.
He was expected to be a sore loser if he failed in his bid for the presidency, and he is living up to and beyond all those expectations. I personally believe he is quite transparent – an ego with a thirst for power, coupled with a subsequent child like temper tantrum and unwillingness to accept reality now that he has lost.
He has argued for every vote to be recounted, but at the same time he has gone on the record as saying that even should that happen and the result not change, he will not accept defeat. He is also threatening to paralyse the city for the next 6 years, put the new president under siege and form his own government paralle to the real one. With himself as president naturally. It’s more than just a little crazy. I wasn’t too concerned with who would win the election before – I’m now jolly relieved it won’t be Obrador.
Tonight things have gone a stage further. As President Fox approached the stage to give his address, senators belonging to Obrador’s PRD party stormed the stage, waving banners and placards, carrying out a threat they had made to prevent the speech from being given.
Scenes outside have become a little violent too for the first time, although most protesters have still remained peaceful.
I do wonder what will happen when IFE give their verdict next week though. I suspect it may not be pretty. I would like to think that Obrador will appreciate that his job isn’t just to represent his supporters, or the general population, but to act in their best interests.
Paralysing the country for six years is not in the best interests of anyone.