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Thursday, April 28, 2005


A million people in the streets and the contempt of the vast majority of his citizenry has apparently caused Mexican President Vicente Fox to back down on his craven attempt to remove the most popular contender in next year's presidential election:
The legal proceedings that threatened to knock Mexico's most popular politician off next year's presidential ballot and to plunge this country into turmoil seemed to come to a sudden end on Wednesday night, when a beleaguered President Vicente Fox announced the resignation of his attorney general and a review of the government's case against the politician.

In a nationally televised address, Mr. Fox said he had accepted the resignation of Attorney General Rafael Macedo de la Concha, who oversaw the prosecution of the politician, Mayor Andrés Manuel López Obrador of Mexico City, and thus became one of the most polarizing figures in the government.
His resignation was widely considered a kind of peace offering to Mayor López Obrador, whose political career was threatened three weeks ago when Congress voted to lift his official immunity and remove him from office so that he could stand trial in a land dispute.

Striking an uncharacteristically stiff posture and formal tone of voice, President Fox said he considered defending democracy his government's most important responsibility, and wanted to guarantee that next year's presidential elections would be fair, transparent and open to all qualified figures.
Indeed while the proceedings against the mayor, known as a desafuero, caused his popularity to soar, it plunged Mr. Fox's lackluster government into open conflict. In interviews earlier this week, aides to the president described the case against the mayor as an enormous mistake and said the president was looking for a way out.

The toll became clear Tuesday during a trip by Mr. Fox to Oaxaca State, in the south. After a lunch with business leaders and the governor, the president stopped to confront a young protester carrying a sign that described him as a "traitor to democracy."

Clearly agitated, the president asked over and over again for the protester to explain. The protester did not answer.

"I am not some traitor to democracy," Mr. Fox said. "On the contrary, I have worked for democracy for all."
Unfortunately, our pResident wouldn't have even seen the sign, and if he did would have dismissed it as a focus group.

When your democracy is crappier than Mexico's, you really shouldn't be trying to export it.

Anyway, it looks like a great victory for the people of Mexico. Still, I'd recommend that AMLO stay out of small planes.