Mexico: Felipe Calderon and Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador; A Tale of Two Presidents

Article excerpt

Troops paraded through Mexico City on the day Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador was declared the country's "legitimate president". They were not from Mexico's modern army, but volunteers re-enacting the triumphant march into the city by Emiliano Zapata and Francisco "Pancho" Villa, four years after the start of the 1910 revolution.

Those earlier rebels overthrew the dictator Victoriano Huerta in a decade-long political upheaval. Lopez Obrador hopes the street protests he has led since the presidential election on 2 July--which he says was stolen by his opponent from the governing National Action Party (PAN)--will result in a similar, though less bloody, regime change.

His left-wing Party of the Democratic Revolution (PRD) rests its claim on Article 39 of the constitution, which says sovereignty resides with the people and gives them the right to change the form of government at any time. Lopez Obrador's claim is the fourth such attempt since 1910.

This time, Felipe Calderon, the chosen successor to President Vicente Fox Quesada, was declared the winner with a margin of just 234,000 votes, 0. …