Felipe Calderón vs. Andrés Manuel López Obrador
The July 2 election between conservative candidate Felipe Calderón and left-wing populist Andrés Manuel López Obrador brought more than 41 million people to the polls but it was seven judges and a measly 243,000 votes that ended up sealing Calderón's victory. The Federal Electoral Institute, whose officials unanimously opposed Obrador, refused to conduct a vote-by-vote recount following claims of voter fraud agreeing instead to review just 9 percent of polling places as required by law. After two months of tribunals, they declared Calderón the winner of the tighest race in Mexico's history Calderon won by 0.58%.
In the end, though, both candidates' parties were fined millions of dollars for their conduct during the election. Calderón's party was rapped for publicizing sitting President Vicente Fox's endorsement (considered an illegal use of executive power). Obrador's Democratic Revolution Party was blamed for disrupting downtown Mexico City for several weeks with circus-size tent cities that one journalist described as more of a "free daycamp of sorts" than a massive protest. (The festive demonstrations featured chess and soccer tournaments, music and comedy shows, carnival rides, and art classes). Even a year later, tensions between supporters of both candidates remained high. When a film reel broke during the screening of the 2007 documentary Fraud, Mexico 2006 in the nation's capital, a fight erupted between employees and moviegoers who accused the theater owners of sabotage and censorship.
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