A presidential election in Mexico that is too close to call has raised the prospect of a political crisis if either of the main candidates challenges the outcome. Exit polls show the main left-wing and conservative candidates running neck and neck.
Pre-election surveys had given left-wing Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador the narrowest of leads. Lopez Obrador has promised to end two decades of free-market reforms and pull millions out of poverty with welfare benefits and new jobs in ambitious infrastructure projects.
His rival, Felipe Calderon of the outgoing President Vicente Fox’s ruling party, has said such policies would ruin Mexico. He has pledged to create millions of jobs with pro-business initiatives and foreign investment.
Several exit polls have given conflicting predictions of the final result. Turnout is thought to have been high. For the first time Mexicans living abroad were eligible to vote and the ballots of the estimated eleven million expatriates
Against the background of a tense climax to what had been a bitter campaign thousands of leftists marched in Mexico City in a symbolic protest against all political parties.