After a two month legal battle Felipe Calderon, the candidate of Mexico’s ruling conservative party, has been confirmed as winner of the country’s presidential election. A panel of judges dismissed his leftist challenger’s claims that the ballot was rigged. They said Calderon had won by a razor-thin margin of about 234,000 votes out of some 41 million cast. The decision by Mexico’s top electoral court cannot by appeal. Leftists accuse judges, electoral authorities, media and big businesses of forming a powerful front against them. Their candidate Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador has said he will not recognise Calderon as president. He has vowed to set up a parallel government with support from the streets.
The political row that has split the country largely along class lines looks set to rumble on. There were protests outside the court as the ruling was made. Sit-ins and protests in support of Lopez Obrador have caused traffic chaos in Mexico City in recent weeks and the authorities are braced for more.