Thursday, April 07, 2005

Mexico's Political Future at Stake in Vote on Mayor

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - Mexico's political future hangs in the balance when Congress votes on Thursday on whether to try to force the popular leftist mayor of Mexico City out of the race for president in 2006.

More than 100,000 protesters are expected to swarm to the capital's Zocalo, one of the world's largest squares, to urge deputies not to lift front-runner Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador's immunity from prosecution on a contempt-of-court charge.

Lopez Obrador is likely to go to jail pending trial if he loses the vote. If he is later found guilty by a court, he would probably be banned from elections next year to replace conservative President Vicente Fox.

The relevance is that Obrador is a Socialist and has been the leading Presidential Candidate for 18 months. He would upset the conservative PAN and take a distant 3rd leftist Party into the country's leading political force. The Party of Democratic Revolution (PRD) is anti NAFTA and neoliberalism, pro-Cuba, pro social rights...

That the right is trying to disqualify Obrador for building an airport access road is beyond absurd. If it were Zimbabwe it would be proof of massive authoritaranism.


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