Mexican protesters take over capital

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The Independent US

Hanging protest banners from sculptures and pitching tents in the middle of Mexico City's historic Reforma Boulevard, supporters of the leftist presidential candidate Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador paralysed the city's financial district yesterday, and refused to leave until they received a ruling on demands for a recount in the presidential election.

In the election on 2 July, the ruling party's candidate Felipe Calderon emerged with an advantage of less than 0.6 of a percentage point, or about 240,000 votes. Mr Lopez Obrador claims he was robbed of victory through fraud.

He spent the night in a tent in the city, where thousands of supporters joined him. Mr Lopez Obrador told his supporters: "We won the presidency ... it is fundamental that they recognise my victory."

Mexico City's Mayor Alejandro Encinas, a member of Mr Lopez Obrador's Democratic Revolution Party, said he wouldn't remove protesters. President Vicente Fox's spokesman said the federal government wouldn't intervene unless the city government requested its help.

The Federal Electoral Tribunal has until 6 September to declare a result or annul the election.