Ex-Mexican Candidate Names His 'Cabinet'

The Associated Press
Friday, November 3, 2006; 9:58 PM

MEXICO CITY -- A leftist politician who refuses to accept an election tribunal's decision that his opponent narrowly won the presidential election named his "resistance" government Cabinet on Friday.

Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, a former mayor of Mexico City, named six men and six women to posts in what he calls his legitimate government, aimed at opposing what he calls President-elect Felipe Calderon's "spurious" administration.

Lopez Obrador lost the July 2 elections to Calderon by a razor-thin margin, and claims he was robbed of the victory by fraud.

"This is not a symbolic government, in name only, or as many think, a shadow Cabinet," Lopez Obrador said at an announcement ceremony. "Quite the contrary, it will be an active government with demands, proposals."

It is not entirely clear how the parallel government plans to act, however. The only concrete action Lopez Obrador has announced is a nationwide tour starting Saturday and ending on Nov. 19.

It is not clear if his "government" will have offices here or abroad, or whether Lopez Obrador's officials will simply tour the country, gathering complaints against Calderon and mounting protests against his policies.

Lopez Obrador is scheduled to be "sworn in" to the parallel presidency on Nov. 20, Mexico's Revolution Day, in the capital's central main plaza, the Zocalo.

Calderon will be sworn in as the country's official president on Dec. 1.

Neither Lopez Obrador nor his Cabinet will be officially recognized under Mexican law. The federal Electoral Election Tribunal rejected Lopez Obrador's claims of fraud and requests for a full recount of the July 2 presidential vote. Following a partial recount, the court confirmed Calderon's victory over Lopez Obrador by less than 1 percentage point.

The Mexican constitution limits presidents to one six-year term. President Vicente Fox, of Calderon's conservative National Action Party, was elected in 2000, ending the 71-year uninterrupted rule of the Institutional Revolutionary Party.

© 2006 The Associated Press