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How Do You Say “Hanging Chad” In Spanish ?

by @ 10:43 am on July 9, 2006. Filed under Foreign Affairs, Mexico

We may well find out because the losing candidate in the Mexican Presidential Election is not accepting the outcome:

MEXICO CITY, July 8 — Downtown Mexico City swelled Saturday with the accumulated frustration and rage of the poor, who were stoked into a sign-waving, fist-pumping frenzy by new fraud allegations that failed populist candidate Andr?s Manuel L?pez Obrador hopes will overturn the results of Mexico’s presidential election.

L?pez Obrador ignited the smoldering emotions of his followers Saturday morning, alleging for the first time that Mexico’s electoral commission had rigged its computers before the July 2 election to ensure the half-percentage-point victory of Felipe Calder?n, a champion of free trade. In a news conference before the rally, L?pez Obrador called Calder?n “an employee” of Mexico’s powerful upper classes and said a victory by his conservative opponent would be “morally impossible.”

L?pez Obrador added a new layer of complexity to the crisis by saying he not only would challenge the results in the country’s special elections court but also would attempt to have the election declared illegal by Mexico’s Supreme Court. That strategy presages a constitutional confrontation because according to many legal experts the special elections court is the only body that can hear election challenges.

Its easy to put this off as a sore loser who won’t give up, and maybe that’s exactly what it is, but this is Mexico, and the PRI has been the dominant party in Mexico for nearly 90 years. They’ve stolen elections before, and it isn’t beyond the realm of possibility that they wouldn’t do it again.

Additionally, its clear that Obrador intends to make this about more than just the election:

L?pez Obrador had called his followers into the large downtown square, the Zocalo, the backdrop for generations of Mexican revolutionary fervor, to lay out his long-shot case for overturning Calder?n’s apparent presidential victory. But he got more than that: He got a moment of mass catharsis, an outrageously loud, communal venting.

“The Mexican people are awakening,” said Mart?n Garc?a Trujillo, a farm laborer from the state of Michoacan who had left at midnight for the six-hour bus ride to the capital. “We know Andr?s Manuel won. They just won’t let it happen. We can’t take this anymore.”


The anger on display in the square grows from decades of perceived indignities and a sense of persecution by a succession of ruling parties. Garc?a Trujillo, the farm worker from Michoacan, recalled feeling the same anguish in 1988 when the PRD candidate, Cuauht?moc C?rdenas, lost a presidential race that many international observers have said was stolen by the Institutional Revolutionary Party, or PRI. He said he felt the same rage two years ago when outgoing President Vicente Fox’s administration unsuccessfully attempted to impeach L?pez Obrador, who was then the mayor of Mexico City.

Mexico is hardly a democracy in our sense of the word, and events like this election may only cause the pressure for real reform to grow. In the long run, that would not necessarily be a bad thing for its neighbor north of the border.

And, by the way, according to Google, the Spanish equivalent of hanging chads is: chads que cuelgan

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3 Responses to “How Do You Say “Hanging Chad” In Spanish ?”

  1. Don Surber says:

    Mexico’s Al Gore

    Below the Beltway says the operative phrase is chads que cuelgan. Heh

  2. Arround the Sphere

    Those wacky last throes continue in Iraq! Someone must have forgot to send the Terrorist the memo from Dick. Someone must have also forgot to tell them that losing their Leader was supposed to be the end of the insurgency….

  3. The Knucklehead of the Day award

    Today’s winner is Manuel Lopez Obrador.

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