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Home >> World
UPDATED: 13:09, August 17, 2006
Mexican federal police deployed outside congress
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The Mexican government on Wednesday deployed federal police outside the Chamber of Deputies as supporters of leftist presidential candidate Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador warned of escalating their protests.

The federal preventative police and riot police set up water cannons and posts outside the lower parliament building, said Ruben Aguilar, spokesman for outgoing Mexican President Vicente Fox, two days after Lopez Obrador's supporters clashed with police outside the sprawling complex in which 30 people, including 15 legislators from Lopez Obrador's Democratic Revolution Party (PRD), were injured.

Aguilar said security was boosted as part of preparations for the last state-of-the-nation address by Fox scheduled for Sept. 1, the very day that Lopez Obrador's supporters had pledged to march again.

The police deployment would show the world that Mexico is enforcing the law and the country is not in chaos or difficulty, said the spokesman.

Also on Wednesday, spokesman for the PRD, Gerardo Fernandez, told reporters that a campaign of civil disobedience would begin after a mass meeting on Sept. 16, Mexico's Independence Day.

He said the campaign would include all types of activities that could "imply a position of rebellion against authorities," but he ruled out an "armed insurgency" from the movement.

Lopez Obrador has called a national demonstration to demand a ballot-by-ballot recount of the July 2 vote after the official figure showed he had lost the election to ruling National Action Party candidate Felipe Calderon by less than 0.6 percent.

He has filed a court challenge to the count results, saying his party has found altogether 72,000 polling stations as suspicious and the vote was rigged.

By law, the Federal Electoral Tribunal has to rule on vote disputes by the end of August and announce a winner by Sept. 6. The winner will be sworn in on Dec. 1, taking power from Fox.

Source: Xinhua

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