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Last Updated: Wednesday, 8 November 2006, 04:25 GMT
Mexico MPs block Fox foreign trip
Demonstrator in Oaxaca
Protesters in Oaxaca are calling for the governor's resignation
Mexico's lower house of parliament has voted to block President Vicente Fox's visit to Australia and Vietnam.

Opposition politicians, who voted overwhelmingly against authorising the tour, said President Fox should remain in Mexico until his term ends.

He needed to deal with what they called the serious social problems the country faces, such as ongoing unrest in the southern state of Oaxaca, they said.

Mr Fox's ruling National Action Party does not have a majority in the house.

The move came as thousands took to the streets of Oaxaca to express support for embattled Governor Ulises Ruiz.

Calls for Mr Ruiz' resignation have been at the heart of a five-month protest in Oaxaca by left-wing activists and striking teachers, who accuse him of abuse of power and electoral fraud.

Meanwhile several bombs exploded in the capital Mexico City on Monday. Leftist guerrillas said they carried out the attacks.

'Bordering on frivolous'

Mr Fox had been planning to make an official visit to Australia on 12 November, before attending the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in Hanoi.

The trip had already been approved by the Senate.

"It borders on frivolous to take a trip only a few days before leaving office, in a country that is convulsed by violence," leftist Congressman Rodolfo Solis told the Associated Press news agency.

Mr Fox's foreign trips are often criticised but this is only the second time that one has been voted down.

In 2002, the house blocked a visit to the US and Canada, claiming Mr Fox was focusing too much on international events.




SEE ALSO
Q&A: Crisis in Oaxaca
31 Oct 06 |  Americas
Mexico riot police re-take Oaxaca
30 Oct 06 |  Americas
Journalist dies in Mexico protest
28 Oct 06 |  Americas
In pictures: Oaxaca clashes
29 Oct 06 |  In Pictures
Oaxaca teachers vote for return
27 Oct 06 |  Americas
Mexico governor under Senate fire
20 Oct 06 |  Americas
Oaxaca demo reaches Mexico City
10 Oct 06 |  Americas

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