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The BBC's Peter Greste
"This campaign has been the longest and most intense"
 real 28k

Julio Faesler, Pan representative
"There may be some friction"
 real 28k

Monday, 3 July, 2000, 23:07 GMT 00:07 UK
Mexicans celebrate new era
Mexican newstand
Mexicans woke up to a new political dawn
Supporters of the main opposition candidate in the presidential election in Mexico, Vicente Fox, have been celebrating his historic victory.

Large crowds of people poured on to the country's streets to mark the win, which ended more than 70 years of rule by the Institutional Revolutionary Party (Pri).

The Mexican markets have also reacted positively to the result, with shares jumping by over 4% and the peso surging in value in early trading.

Mr Fox - from the centre-right Pan party - has called for national reconciliation, urging the parties he defeated to join his government

Speaking after a meeting with President Ernesto Zedillo, Mr Fox said that the time had come for calm and for Mexicans to work toward national development.

The new president-elect has promised economic growth and educational improvements, with the creation of millions of new jobs.



We have to work together to make Mexico the great country we have all dreamed of

Vicente Fox
In his first statement after being elected, he also said that corruption in Mexico would no longer be tolerated.

And he has promised "transparent, accountable government".

In an interview with the Associated Press news agency, he said: "We will have moral authority and democratic legitimacy."

With most of the votes counted, Mr Fox had won around 43% of the ballot, compared to 36% for the Pri's Francisco Labastida.

The United States and the European Union have both welcomed the result as evidence of Mexico's commitment to democracy.

A US State Department official said Washington looked forward to working with Mr Fox on key issues such as drugs, immigration and trade.

Free and fair

Outgoing President Ernesto Zedillo telephoned Mr Fox, who will take office on 1 December, to offer his congratulations.

Mexico city
Supporters of Fox gathered by the Angel of Independence statue in Mexico City
For the first time, the Pri will not be the single largest party in the Congress.

The BBC correspondent in Mexico city says these have probably been the first really clean elections in Mexico's history, thanks to reforms carried out under President Zedillo.

He says that over the past decade, the government has been forced to introduce democratic reforms in order to be accepted as a member of the international community.

This, he says, opened the way for Sunday's historic opposition victory, which has closed a chapter on the single party system.

Pro-business

Mr Fox's party is widely seen to represent the face of modern Mexican business.

PRI candidate Labastida
Labastida: Lost a long, gruelling battle
The former Coca-Cola executive began campaigning three years ago, while also acting as governor of Guanajuato state and running a ranch.

Mr Fox is viewed by Mexico's elite as the man who will continue President Zedillo's market-oriented economic policies.

Besides pledging to stamp out corruption, he says he will parcel out the country's riches more equally among Mexico's nearly 100 million citizens.

He has also vowed to form a pluralistic administration made up of members of all parties, including the Pri.

Multi-party cabinet

Voters have also been electing 128 senators, 500 federal deputies and the head of Mexico City's administration.

Correspondents say that, although it will take some time for the final figures to emerge, it seems the Pan leader is likely to face a divided Congress and Senate.

They say Mr Fox's party will dominate, but it will not have an absolute majority and Mr Fox will have to work with the new opposition if he is to succeed.

The new Congress is scheduled to be sworn in on 1 September.

Leftist presidential candidate Cuauhtemoc Cardenas of the Party of the Democratic Revolution (PRD) appeared to be in third place with around 16%.

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See also:

03 Jul 00 | Americas
In pictures: Mexico celebrates
02 Jul 00 | Americas
End of era for all-powerful party
03 Jul 00 | Americas
US praise Mexican election
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