Political turmoil continues in Mexico where leftist protesters clashed with police outside Congress and leftist legislators inside the building refused to let President Vicente Fox make his state of the nation address. It was the first time in Mexican history opposition legislators had blocked the president’s annual speech.
It marked an escalation in the crisis that has hit the country since July’s presidential election. Fox left the building to present his speech in a TV studio instead. The left-wing Party of the Democratic Revolution accuses Fox of complicity in fraud in the election to give victory to conservative candidate Felipe Calderon.
Calderon – Fox’s former energy minister – won the vote by just 244,000 votes out of 41 million. Leftist candidate Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador says he was robbed of victory and demands a full recount vote by vote. On Friday, he urged restraint among his supporters. “We will not be provoked. We are in the right, we are struggling for a just cause,” he said. He railed against what he says are Mexico’s corrupt institutions, such as the courts. Mexico’s top electoral court this week rejected his fraud claims clearing the way for Calderon to be named president elect in the coming days.