Apparently when leftist Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador lost the presidential election in Mexico back in July, he was so confident that he was supposed to win the election that he never conceded defeat. In fact, after claiming fraud and dirty campaign tactics by Felipe Calderon, the candidate that achieved a narrow victory, Obrador has decided to swear himself in as Mexico's "legitimate" president. His parallel government will be based in Mexico City, relying on donations to carry out its plans of overthrowing Calderon's presidency by using protests and demonstrations.
During his speech on Monday he vowed to draw up a new constitution to oppose the building of U.S. fences, and to limit the power of big corporation. He claims he is assuming the leadership of millions of poor Mexicans.
Supporters carried signs lashing out against not only Calderon, but a variety of foes they say had lined up to marginalize Lopez Obrador: the Roman Catholic Church, the mainstream media and even rival leftists such as Zapatista rebel leader Subcomandante Marcos.
Some members of Obrador's political party, however, have expressed disagreement with his strategy of using congress as an arena for protests rather than negotiations. Residents have tired of Obrador's brand of political activism, claiming that it affects the country's image, putting out a very bad image. In fact, the political unrest has greatly affected tourism, one of Mexico's main sources of income, which is down 4.3 percent.
The Mexican Media has described Obrador's ceremony as a circus act and a farce.
But the conditions in Mexico makes the country fertile ground for this kind of leadership, because many of the poor see this type of leadership as a solution.
The president-elect, Calderon, is a conservative that is business friendly, and is expected to move quickly to win over the poor sector of Mexico, borrowing ideas from Obrador such as pensions for the elderly and special utility rates for the poor.
And we thought that the controversy over chads in Florida was outrageous.