It’s taken 2 months and three days of counting, recounting, legal arguments and all amidst massive protests and allegations of fraud. But finally the Federal Electoral Institute (IFE) have finished their work and declared a winner. Felipe Calderon of the PAN party will be inaugurated on December the 1st. Assuming the slightly bitter supporters of Lopez Obrador don’t put a stop to it!
The protesters were out in force today at the IFE building across the road from my home, and I got out to take a few photos. They won’t be happy, but the race is now over. Will they accept reality? Probably not. It shouldn’t be forgotten that this was a very close race, with less than 230 odd thousand votes splitting the two, out of a total number of more than 40 million votes cast . It wouldn’t have taken much fiddling to alter the result, and that is exactly what Obrador’s supporters believe happened.
However, there seems to be little credence to their claims, with IFE, well respected in its own right, and the international community, who had plenty of monitors in the country, both declaring the election free and fair. Responsibility for the current paralysis that the capital is suffering lies squarely on Obrador’s shoulders. The longer the protests have gone on, the more he has had to say, and the clearer it is to the average ‘watcher’ that Mr Obrador’s bruised ego simply cannot accept the reality of defeat.
Where things will go from here for Mr Obrador is hard to say. I have a feeling that if the election was re-run tomorrow, he would lose again, and this time by a larger margin. I am sure a fair chunk of his moderate supporters will have been turned off by the populist and damaging tactics he has employed since the July 2nd vote.
Mr Obrador will claim he has to fight for the people who voted for him, the people he represents. He may well have succeeded only in losing them the next election in 2012.