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Wednesday, July 05, 2006

MEXICO ELECTION: JULY 5, 5:30 PM REPORT

I just interviewed Miguel Angel Solis, o top official of Mexico’s Federal Electoral Institute (IFE) and two well-known pollsters (Cesar Ortega of Ipsos-Bimsa and Francisco Abundis, of Parametria) to find out what’s likely to happen with Mexico’s electoral tie. In a nutshell, there are about 3 million votes with “inconsistencies” that – under a previous agreement of all parties – were never supposed to be included in the preliminary vote estimate released by the IFE on Monday. But the IFE apparently screwed up in saying its PREP results giving Felipe Calderon a lead of more than 1 percent lead over Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador were based on 98 percent of the voting tallies (in fact, it was based on 86 percent of the tallies, since the ones with “inconsistencies” or “irregularities” were not supposed to be counted,) which gave leftist candidate Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador a chance to cry foul play. I'll expand in the comments section.

13 Comments:

Blogger Andres Oppenheimer said...

Miguel Angel Solis, of the IFE, said there “wasn’t any mistake” in the PREP results, but added that “if anything, there was a mistake in the process of communicating the data.” He added that “when the data were presented to the public opinion, no initial explanation of this (the fact that tallies with inconsistencies were not supposed to be counted) was given…which raised questions about why, if we have 98 percent of the tallies, we don’t have the (total) 41 million votes.” Solis said this misunderstanding has been cleared since, and that there are thus no 3 million “missing” votes: They were just set aside, by agreement of all parties. As for Lopez Obrador’s request of a vote-by-vote recount, he said the law only allows a vote-by-vote recount of disputed tallies. Asked about Wednesday’s first official tally count, giving Lopez Obrador a slight lead, he said that it doesn’t reflect a trend, and that the results are likely to go back and forth between Calderon and Lopez Obrador until the final tally is counted. “What we expect is a very close result,” he said.
One of the pollsters I interviewed, meantime, said that Calderon may still end up ahead in the official tally count, but by an increasingly smaller margin, and that the IFE’s initial communications mistake may make it easier for Lopez Obrador to “politicize” the election results. The bottom line: Calderon has the upper hand (slightly,) but this is far from over.

6:12 PM  
Blogger leftside said...

It's a matter of semantics. The 2.6 million votes were 'missing' from the PREP count. Those votes should be counted and for making that clear, AMLO faced a skewering by the editorial boards of our fine newspapers.

The New York Times is reporting that all 8 of randomly opened precinct boxes it witnessed in Guadalajara were tallied wrong, in favor of Calderon and Madrazo.

I really hate to believe in conpsiracies, but it kind of makes you wonder if this is the reason the Interior Minister was all over the airwaves saying recounting actual ballots was physically and legally impossible. Also makes you wonder if it has something to do with him (Abascal) calling up his Television station buddies to supress the exit poll numbers.

1:56 AM  
Blogger paco said...

The 2.6 millions were excluded from the PREP because the parties agreed on that, those 2.6 million showed inconsistencies. Lets not forget that IFE said that they couldnt tell a winner from the PREP. Anyway PREP is in the past! PREP didnt decide the elections!

About the boxes in guadaljara and jalisco, the reality is that there werent representants of PRD when they counted the votes. I know personally people that participated in the counting (i live in guadalajara) and everybody agreed that the representation of PRD was minimal, that, my friends, is responsability of PRD.

12:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Leftside says: "The New York Times is reporting that all 8 of randomly opened precinct boxes it witnessed in Guadalajara were tallied wrong, in favor of Calderon and Madrazo. "

What nonsense. You cannot tear open the seal and recount a box without a court order. How can you randomly select 8 boxes and open them without a court order, may I ask. Link please. And if you don't have link, then retraction please.

Those few boxes that were recounted had technical issues about them, and could be legally opened - they were far from random - to begin with.

Behnam

4:42 AM  
Blogger leftside said...

Ok, they were not 'randomly' opened. These were indeed boxes with inconsistencies. The linked story except follows:

Six ballot boxes were opened for a recount in District 8 because of errors on the tally sheets. In every case, the preliminary tallies turned out to be wrong.

In one case, polling workers had miscounted so badly that they gave 100 extra votes to a third candidate, Roberto Madrazo of the Institutional Revolutionary Party, and doubled the 235 votes for Mr. Calderón. Mr. López Obrador's count was not affected.

"They should open them all because in the six they opened, there were problems," said Francisco Mares, a 25-year-old lawyer who represented Mr. López Obrador's party at the district.

At District 11, another representative for Mr. López Obrador, Rocio Miranda Luévanos, demanded a recount every time results from a new tally sheet were read. But the chairman of the board refused.

Then, the board found a flaw on one of the tally sheets, and the board chairman ordered the box opened.

The secretary of the seven-member board tore open the envelope and extracted the brown-rimmed ballots. He separated them into piles on a small table as the board members and party representatives crowded around him.

The ballots bore the fingerprints of Mexico's burgeoning, if messy, democracy. The voters had made their marks with black crayons in any variety of ways — huge smeared crosses, neat checks, circles, smudges.

The secretary, Salvador de la Mora, counted the ballots one by one in each pile. Mr. López Obrador picked up six votes. Mr. Calderón lost one. Mr. Madrazo lost 14 votes.

Supporters of Mr. López Obrador, who had demanded all the votes be recounted, shook their heads.

"I am lamenting the lack of certainty that one would expect from an institution like the Federal Electoral Institute," said Rosa Guadalupe Espinosa Llamas, 42, who had been a congressional candidate for Mr. López Obrador's Party of the Democratic Revolution. "In one packet there we recuperated 10 votes. They should open them all."

1:38 PM  
Blogger A.M. Mora y Leon said...

The NY Times has a leftist agenda and is full of baloney. If they're such good reporters (and not the obvious propagandists they are demonstrating themselves to be) how come they didn't NAME that doggone precinct that they claim had irregularities? How come? The left it mysteriously muddy, even though THEIR JOB as reporters calls on them to name the damn place and they didn't! The editorial page at least was more temperate than these leftists and though they called for a selective recount until they got the result they liked, at least they weren't willing to risk their credibility as badly as these "reporters" did, in light of the fact that more serious news organizations, like the Miami Herald, the LA Times, the Wall Street Journal, and others are not reporting these scurrilous, hazily defined anecdotes designed to support AMLO. They join Chief Hemispheric Fraudster, King of Fraud, Hugo Chavez (whose December congressional race results have NEVER been released) in claiming that Mexico's most transparent election ever was loaded with fraud. And yeah, unlike you, Leftside, I WENT TO THE THING, watched it for hours and I am telling you there was no cheating going on. The poll observers from PAN, PRD and PRI in Tijuana all told me everything was free and fair.

2:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

We who live in this country know that we most certainly cant trust our institutions. This so called close-count election just doesnt smell right. A lot of inconsistencies were visible and mainstreamed. We live in a world were anything can be corrupted, hacked. Even the US had its issues, with Ohio in the 2000 elections. So why are we so naive in thinking that the elections were clean. Its not a soccer game. These elections have been so dirty since they kicked off, and the part that we as a society should matter is the fact that "fear won". Media contributed to that. At least 2 million people voted because of fear. Thats something we shouldnt forget. Bush knows that, and oh boy, did Fox, Salinas, Televisa, TV Azteca and all of the elite people learn so well. Looks like we`ll still see that 2.4 percent in growth, and sit while China announces that it will grow 10 percent.

1:32 PM  
Blogger paco said...

We know that its a clean election because ALL the political parties have representants in EVERY step of the process. If PRD noticed that some of the boxes were added up wrongly they have the right to go to court. They have that right, but they cant say that theres a huge fraud and disqualify IFE just because they didnt win.
Funny Fact: PRD is comparing this elections with the 1988`s fraud. At that time the Chairman of elections was the right hand of the president. Manuel Barlett was the chairman and the responsible for the fraud. In 1988 there was no transparecy and the system was shut down. Barlett declared a winner with no explanation. Guess where is Barlett now? He`s in PRD, and he is very close to AMLO.
The explanation of what`s happening in Mexico is that AMLO is a social agitator who refuses to accept an adverse result in the elections. He is the mexican version of Chavez and I can sustain this with strong arguments.

8:09 PM  
Blogger A.M. Mora y Leon said...

Anon: The 2.4% growth is the result of leftist governments in Mexico's south. States like Chihuahua in the north, with its rightwing government, produce 5% growth, well above the national average. Put a rightwing president in and you brighten the outlook for rightwing-style growth. Put a leftist in power and resign yourself to 1% growth or worse, same as the eurozone has or the miserable communist states of yore. The more leftwing, the less growth and the more leftwing the less freedom. That's why I never vote leftwing.

12:58 AM  
Blogger Lili said...

MORA LEON SAID: "Anon: The 2.4% growth is the result of leftist governments in Mexico's south. States like Chihuahua in the north, with its rightwing government, produce 5% growth, well above the national average. Put a rightwing president in and you brighten the outlook for rightwing-style growth. Put a leftist in power and resign yourself to 1% growth or worse, same as the eurozone has or the miserable communist states of yore. The more leftwing, the less growth and the more leftwing the less freedom. That's why I never vote leftwing."

That's a highly simplistic comment, and along with the so-called "growth" in Chihuahua (as well as in Tijuana) there has also been a "growth" in violence against women, drug-trafficking, and corruption.

That's not the kind of "growth" those of us in northern Mexico were hoping for. That's why lots of Tijuana's middle class are starting to move to San Diego.

7:33 PM  
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