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Last Updated: Wednesday, 6 September 2006, 16:34 GMT 17:34 UK
Mexico press uneasy over poll decision
Mexico's president-elect Felipe Calderon with wife Margarita Zavala
Calderon has called for unity following a bitter election battle

The decision by the Mexican authorities to name Felipe Calderon president-elect, dashing the hopes of his leftist rival Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, is a topic of intense debate in the country's newspapers.

Many commentators call on Mr Lopez Obrador to accept the decision and work to form a viable and effective democratic opposition.

However, the leftist La Jornada accuses the top electoral court of "making a mockery" of the electoral process and bowing to the pressures of business and the rightist government of outgoing President Vicente Fox.

"Instead of imparting justice, it took sides. Instead of proposing solutions to the grave polarisation affecting the country, it accentuated it," the paper says.

It's difficult to deny that Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador confronted a dubious broadside of attacks
El Universal
La Jornada says the court has created "an abyss" between the authorities and the "downtrodden masses" who had voted for Mr Lopez Obrador.

"Now more than ever, they perceive official phrases like democracy, legitimacy, equality, transparency and pluralism as empty words."

'Bad politics'

The centrist El Universal calls for moderation from the Lopez Obrador camp, while acknowledging many of the doubts and irregularities surrounding the election.

It takes some sections of the business community to task for their "bad politics in fomenting propaganda highlighting supposed future dangers" implicit in a Lopez Obrador victory.

"It's difficult to deny that Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador confronted a dubious broadside of attacks," concludes El Universal, while adding that this is not the same as saying there was widespread electoral fraud.

[Obrador's] words and actions were of rupture and confrontation
Leopoldo Mendivil Miercoles in La Cronica de Hoy
The paper warns Mr Calderon that he will need to devise a government programme which serves all Mexicans and offers a solution to the widespread poverty and social, political and economic marginalisation.

But it also calls on the Lopez Obrador camp "to assume responsibility... to be vigorous, honourable and democratic".

La Cronica de Hoy calls on the Lopez Obrador camp "to honour its compromise with democracy" and "not have one foot within its institutions while trying to kick them over with the other".

Writing in the same paper, Leopoldo Mendivil Miercoles cites a phrase from the renowned Argentine writer Jorge Luis Borges: "There is a dignity in defeat unmatched by a noisy victory."

He goes on to compare what he considers to be the dignity shown by the losing leftist Colombian candidate Carlos Gaviria in a recent election with the sour grapes shown by Mr Lopez Obrador.

"His words and actions were of rupture and confrontation, social polarization and class hatred, defiance and thoughtless accusations."

Writing in Reforma, Sergio Aguayo Quezada expresses concern that "the stench of deceit" surrounds the whole process.

BBC Monitoring selects and translates news from radio, television, press, news agencies and the internet from 150 countries in more than 70 languages. It is based in Caversham, UK, and has several bureaux abroad.

Mexico press demands poll verdict
09 Aug 06 |  Americas
Q&A: Mexico election
03 Jul 06 |  Americas

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