Whatever the juridical and political outcome will be of challenging the electoral fraud carried out against Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador , it is evident that the legitimacy crisis of democratic institutions is the most significant feature of contemporary Mexican reality. Already confirmed are the hypotheses that point to both the fragility upon which the current system of political representation in neo-liberal capitalism is based and how powerful voters - the factual powers associated with the State - are able to truncate majority decisions of a defenceless citizenry before the apparatuses of informative manipulation, fraud and coercion that finally were imposed on 2 July, 2006 by the Vicente Fox Administration and its network of state, business, corporate and intelligence accomplices.
The General Council of the Federal Electoral Institute (IFE in Spanish) has been totally discredited due to its behaviour before, during and after the elections of 2 July, as well as its central role in the political fraud - a fraud covering both traditional and cybernetic techniques, which despite its modernity left too many tracks behind, to such a degree that Luis Carlos Ugalde, its chief executive, has been denounced by outraged citizens as an electoral criminal who committed crimes against the essence of the representation system: the respect for the popular will expressed through the vote.
It has also been demonstrated that previous accusations regarding the rigged appointment of the nine IFE civic consultants were true, that their careers, their political mentors and their corporate relations lead to a seditious use of their posts to favour the official candidate.
Will it ever be possible to trust an IFE counting of votes again without being completely sure whether there is an effective and secret algorithm operating inside its computers, capable of altering figures and offering percentages prepared in advance by computer experts employed by the powerful voters? For now, it is logical to suppose that as long as the current IFE coordination structure continues to exist, millions of citizens will refuse to participate in electoral processes.
Therefore, a good safety measure would be to demand the immediate resignation of the IFE General Council for having failed to fulfil the minimum requirements of fairness and transparency of its tasks. Another fact also stands out: the inability of the parties of the Alliance for the Good of All [“Por el Bien de Todos”, in Spanish]—in particular the PRD—to take care of the election at the national level, as well as the failure of the “citizen networks” close to Lopez Obrador’s candidacy, which barely covered a minimum percentage of voting stalls, as documented by Proceso newspaper (9 July, 2006).
This is important not only to evaluate what happened but also to embrace the magnitude of this visible lack of organisation by the civic movement against fraud, which should be based on local forces in the sectors and regions. It has to be considered that defending the Mexican people’s achievements and democratic rights go beyond the interests of one party or of one candidate. So, the unity of action against fraud and against Calderon’s imposition should prevail above revanchism and personal resentments, which are currently trying to find scapegoats in the Other Campaign  and particularly the EZLN spokesman Subcomandante Marcos.
The challenge to the elections before the Judicial Power Electoral Federation Court (TEPJF in Spanish) reaches the sphere of the Presidency of the Republic. This means that the PRD is consolidated as the country’s second political force with the most numerous representation since its foundation in the Union Congress, the local congresses, in the government of Mexico City and in most of the delegations. The current civic movement should take into account this reality, in order to use both organisational and resistance forms, in order to force the powerful machinery of interests to maintain an active participation in the democratic movement and to prevent any pacts leading to negotiation between elites for the “Republic’s good and tranquillity.”
Any of the possibilities opened before the TEPJF —namely: a) to count vote by vote, voting stall by voting stall and to eventually recognise Lopez Obrador’s victory; b) to validate the fraudulent version of the election offered by the IFE in recognising Felipe Calderon as the winner; and c) to declare the process null and void, and to set in place an interim government charged with organising new presidential elections— entails political and social conflicts in a Mexico already divided and fragmented by neo-liberal devastation.
It is not discarded that if the TEPJF opts to impose Calderon as president, the state could also resort to repression and provocation against the popular movement, an option systematically supported by extreme rightist sectors and their police and intelligence apparatuses. This threat should be neutralised by increasing mobilisation and greater civic organisation.
In all the scenarios, it is important that the Mexican people keep the prominent political role because the direction of any changes in the immediate future and beyond the current circumstances depends on it. Hence, the Mexican situation confirms the thesis of the limits of democracy under the tutelage of neo-liberal capitalism, as well as the necessity to organise society from the perspective of a social movement capable of overcoming the predicted contingencies of limited electoral processes subjected to the demands of the market in any of the political alternant variants.
 Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, popularly known as AMLO, is the centre-left defeated candidate of the PRD (Partido de la Revolucion Democratica) during the last Mexican Presidential elections on 2 July, 2006.
 In 2005 the Zapatistas made public the Sixth Declaration of the Lacandon Jungle in which they outlined a different strategy in their organization, one in which they would continue to fight for indigenous rights, but also include other marginalized sectors of Mexican society —with the hope of working together towards the creation of a national front against neo-liberalism. The EZLN made the call to initiate The Other Campaign in Mexico, a grassroots effort of putting into practice an alternative way of doing politics between organisations and individuals of the Left, with a Basis of Unity that is anti-neo-liberal, anti-capitalist and Leftist. It proposes the construction of a Leftist plan of struggle and the creation of an alternative to neo-liberalism in Mexico, as well as a new Constitution. The EZLN and the Other Campaign attempts to unify the struggles in the city and the countryside, as well as between indigenous and non-indigenous people. See Mostly Water.
Original article at La Jornada.
Gilberto Lopez y Rivas is a Mexican writer and political analyst.
Translated from Spanish by Manuel Talens and revised by Ron Ridenour, members of Tlaxcala, the network of translators for linguistic diversity.
© Translation Copyright 2006 by AxisofLogic.com