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Mexico: Court Rejects Challenge to Overturn Presidential Election

On August 30, 2012, the Federal Electoral Tribunal (TEPJF) of Mexico rejected the petition to overturn the Presidential election of last July 1.

In a public session, the magistrates declared unanimously [es] that the alleged offenses presented by the Progressive Coalition (whose candidate was Andrés Manuel López Obrador) were groundless; therefore, it was unfair to declare the Presidential election null as the people unhappy by the results wanted.

The Magistrate President of the Tribunal, Jesús Alejandro Luna Ramos [es], declared:

A lo largo de mi labor jurisdiccional he tenido la fortuna de resolver innumerables y muy intrincados asuntos, inclusive de tipo similar al de la gravedad que ahora nos ocupa, y en ninguno de ellos he sido influido por otra cuestión que no sea la justicia y el derecho. Por esta vía, he colaborado a la independencia de este Poder Judicial Federal, al que he consagrado mi profesión y mi vida, y seguiré haciéndolo.

Throughout my judicial career, I have had the fortune to solve countless intricate cases, similar even in gravity to the one that brings us together today, and in none of them I have been influenced by anything other than justice and law. In this way, I have collaborated with the independence of the Federal Judicial Power, to which I have devoted my profession and my life and will keep on doing it.

Once the ruling was known, the two times Presidential candidate Andrés López Obrador announced that he will not recognize the power that comes from this contested election, which he qualified as illegitimate. He also said that civil disobedience is an “honorable duty against the thieves of hope” and made a call to his followers to reunite at the Zocalo (downtown) in Mexico City next September 9.

Third Mega Protest against Imposition. Guadalajara, Mexico, July 22nd, 2012. Picture by Marte Merlos under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0) license.

The reactions on Twitter after the TEPJF's resolution have been numerous and plural. Analyst Gabriel Guerra (@gabrielguerra) [es] focused on the definite character of the electoral court ruling:

@gabrielguerra: Nos guste o no, el TEPJF es la última instancia y su fallo es inapelable e inatacable. Ahora, hay MUCHO q arreglar en legislación electoral [sic]

@gabrielguerra [es]: Like it or not, the TEPJF is the last instance and its ruling is final and incontestable. Now, there is A LOT to fix in the electoral legislation

Congressman Gerardo Fernández (@fernandesnorona) [es] commented that the resolution didn't surprise him:

@fernandesnorona: Todo mundo sabíamos lo que resolvería el TEPJF a menos que se fuera muy ingenuo.

@fernandesnorona [es]: Everybody knew what the TEPJF was going to rule unless he/she was very naive.

Unhappy with the results of the election and the contest itself, Dr. John M. Ackerman (@JohnMAckerman) [es] expressed:

@JohnMAckerman: IFE [Instituto Federal Electoral] y TEPJF son producto de grandes luchas sociales a favor de la democracia. Hoy le dan la espalda a la cddnía [ciudadanía] y traicionan sus orígenes.

@JohnMAckerman [es]: The IFE (Federal Electoral Institute) and the TEPJF are the product of the great social struggles that favored democracy. Now they turn their backs on citizens and betray their origins.

Also, Profesor Ackerman called [es] citizens to protest:

@JohnMAckerman: Lamentablemente, con las cosas como están la mejor vía es la movilización ciudadana, pacífica y exigente.

@JohnMAckerman [es]: Unfortunately, considering he way things are now, the best course of action are peaceful and demanding citizen protests.

Even sports commentator Carlos Albert (@calber57) [es] took the opportunity to talk about the vote buying phenomenon and questioned the electoral court's integrity:

@calber57: Miles de mexicanos amolados vendieron su voto por uns cuantos pesos ¿por cuantos millones de pesos lo habran vendido los jueces del TRIFE? [sic]

@calber57 [es]: Thousands of poor Mexicans sold their vote for a few pesos, for how many millions did the TRIFE judges sold theirs?

José Luis Ángeles (@pequenolebowski) [es] expressed his outrage and hinted that foreign interests might have played a role in the TEPJF's decision:

@pequenolebowski: Mi indignación por el fallo de las elecciones mexicanas, ya van no sé cuántas. El vecino del norte [EUA] es muy poderoso, según se ve.

@pequenolebowski [es]: I'm outraged about the resolution of the Mexican elections; I've lost count of how many. The northern neighbor (USA) is very powerful as you can see.

The candidate that according to the official information [es] got the majority of the votes, Enrique Peña Nieto (@EPN) [es], received the electoral court ruling:

@EPN: El TEPJF resolvió el último de los medios de impugnación interpuestos. Es momento de iniciar una nueva etapa de trabajo en favor de México.

@EPN [es]: The TEPJF solved the last contest resource presented. It is time to start a new phase of work for Mexico.

Moreover, members and followers of the youth movement named #YoSoy132 (I am 132) took the TEPJF's decision with displeasure and expressed their intention to renew protests. User Alinna Duarte (@aLinnoize) [es] said:

Megamarcha, Julio 2012

Mega march, July 2012. Photo by Javier Armas under Creative Commons license (CC BY 2.0)

@aLinnoize: Urge retomar el programa de lucha como medio y fin trascendiendo la coyuntura electoral. ¡El #Yosoy132 no depende del TEPJF!

@aLinnoize [es]: It's urgent we resume our struggle as a mean and an end that goes beyond the electoral impasse. #Yosoy132 does not depend on the TEPJF!

David Ordaz (@david_ordaz) [es] informed in real time about the protests following the resolution:

@david_ordaz: Alrededor de 50 integrantes de #YoSoy132 impiden el cobro de peaje en la caseta México-Cuernavaca, en repudio al fallo del TEPJF.

@david_ordaz [es]: Close to 50 members of #Yosoy132 prevent toll collection at the Mexico-Cuernavaca highway as a way to show their rejection of the TEPJF's ruling.

Journalist Jenaro Villamil (@jenarovillamil) [es] reported on the “Funeral Procession” that the above mentioned youth group organized:

@jenarovillamil: Marcha fúnebre de C.U. al TEPJF y presentación de contrainforme de gobierno: próximas acciones de #YoSoy132http://bit.ly/S5xkV1 

@jenarovillamil [es]: Funeral procession from C.U. to TEPJF and the presentation of a government counter-report: the next steps of #YoSoy132 http://bit.ly/S5xkV1

It is worth noting that the discontent is not general. Some took the news on the decision of the TEPJF with joy. Noel Pinacho (@NoelPinacho) [es] was one of them:

@NoelPinacho: Se demostró una elección limpia ante el #TEPJF. Muchas felicidades a @EPN, quien fue declarado oficialmente Pte. electo de México. [sic]

@NoelPinacho [es]: A clean election was demonstrated before the #TEPJF. Congratulations to @EPN who was officially pronounced President Elect of Mexico.

Similarly, Maximiliano Trejo G (@Max_Trejo_G) [es] said:

@Max_Trejo_G: Al resolver el TEPJF el recurso de impugnación dictando sentencia inapelable, confirma el triunfo de @EPN felicidades al Presidente Electo [sic].

@Max_Trejo_G [es]: As the TEPJF solved the contest pronouncing an unappealable ruling, the triumph of @EPN is confirmed, congratulations to the President Elect.

The TEPJF has determined the final result of the Mexican Presidential election of 2012. In the upcoming days, President Felipe Calderón will have to give his annual report to the Congress, as stated in the Constitution. His term will come to an end on December 1, 2012.

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