Skip to comments.Throng of supporters hears Mexico City mayor announce presidential bid
Posted on 04/07/2005 4:51:10 PM PDT by SwinneySwitch
MEXICO CITY - This city's popular leftist mayor formally announced his bid for president before more than 200,000 supporters who packed Mexico City's huge main plaza Thursday morning, chanting "no estas solo, no estas solo."
You are not alone, the crowd said in Spanish, as Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador prepared to appear before Congress to challenge an effort that would derail his candidacy.
The Mexican Congress was to decide today whether to strip Lopez's legal immunity that he enjoys as mayor in order to face a contempt-of-court charge. He is accused of ignoring a court order soon after taking office in 2000 to stop the construction of an access road to a hospital.
Lopez decried the effort to the throng of supporters at the Zocalo, saying it was politically motivated. Mexican polls show Lopez, a member of the Democratic Revolutionary Party, or PRD, favored to win next year's presidential elections with up to 65 percent of the nationwide vote.
If stripped of his immunity, Lopez could be jailed.
"Although I am convinced that this judgment is a farce in every way, after speaking with you, I am going to go to the House of Representatives to exert my right to a legitimate defense," he told a sea of flag-waving supporters. "I only reiterate that I have not committed any crime and that I have not broken any law."
Construction on the road began prior to Lopez taking office. After a property owner complained, a court granted him an injunction ordering construction to stop. Although it was never finished, prosecutors said work continued on the road for months after the injunction.
Lopez accused the country's two other leading parties -- President Vicente Fox's National Action Party, or PAN, and the Institutional Revolutionary Party, or PRI -- of conspiring with each other to eliminate him from the elections.
The Mexican attorney general's office, which is prosecuting the crime, denied the allegations earlier this week.
"It's false that we're trying to deprive him of his political rights," said Assistant Attorney General Carlos Javier Vega. "He did not obey a court order to stop construction, and we're abiding strictly by the constitution."
Lopez said the collaboration of two parties known for their bitter feuds is perverse, saying "when it comes to defend interests and privileges, those parties that truly are in command always are in agreement."
"It worries them that the project that we are impelling, with the help of many other Mexicans, does benefit most people," he said. "They are scared that what we have achieved in the city will be extended throughout the country. They do not like us demonstrating it is possible to apply, on a national level, another way to govern, one that is human, rational and hopeful."
Lopez said his political party has agreed to formally elect its candidate for president July 31.
He has said he would continue his campaign from jail if he is arrested.
Lopez told supporters Thursday he would also voluntarily surrender to authorities if a warrant is issued for his arrest.
Many of the supporters at the plaza were elderly residents who have benefited from Lopez's administration, receiving about $55 monthly in a public assistance project the mayor initiated. Others were blue-collar workers, such as the Mexican Syndicate of Electricians, who favored his socialist-leaning views.
Lopez is against the privatization of electric and petroleum industry, something the Fox administration has advocated.
Lopez ended the morning rally, asking the crowd to continue hanging banners on businesses and hanging signs on windows in support of his campaign, but to remain peaceful.
"We must act with much intelligence and decision," he said. "Nothing of violence. Nothing to fall in provocations. This movement is, has been and will be peaceful."
If this guy wins, we need an electrified fence across the whole southern border.
Mexican Presidential Bid Ping!
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Stopping in stores in Mexico City came to a stand still as shoppers were all drawn to the television to hear his speech, unless stopped by the judges decision that he is guilty of 'contempt of court', this candidate right now appears to be the people's choice.
Mexico deserves this clown...and yes, we'll need that fence...or a minefield.
Triple fences topped with concertina wire, guard towers every 5 miles with .50 caliber guns and a 1,500 mile long moat stocked with piranhas and alligators
If this commie gets in he will make common cause with Hugo Chavez and Fidel Castro. He'll say if you don't take our unwanted masses we'll cut you off from Mexican oil.
Count on it!!!
Ok, what is wrong with this guy? I don't know too much about him...is he worse than Fox?
If this commie wins, we'll wish we had built a decent fence.
It'll be commies from Brazil to Mexico. China is loving this.
Don't have time to read the post, but the way things are going I presume he is announcing for the Republican nomination for US President. He will be almost as strong an open borders advocate as the last GOP nominee.
Distract, harass, death of a thousand cuts done on the cheap. Via stooges and proxies
"Oprima el numero dos para Ingles."