Despite Numerous Setbacks, Mexico’s ‘Legitimate President’ Persists

Despite Numerous Setbacks, Mexico’s ‘Legitimate President’ Persists

GUADALAJARA, Mexico -- A year after losing Mexico's contested presidential election, runner up Andrés Manuel López Obrador has largely fallen out of view and it's unclear whether he can stage a comeback. But he can certainly still draw a crowd.

Last month, on the eve of the one-year anniversary of the vote he narrowly lost, López Obrador beckoned his followers to Mexico City's enormous Zocalo (town square) for a rally, where the self-proclaimed "legitimate president of Mexico" once again branded the election fraudulent, invoked a new theory to explain his defeat and railed against proposed economic reforms. He also promoted a new book spelling out the story behind the unfavorable election results titled: "The Mafia Stole the Presidency from Us." Most notably, he reiterated a call for "zero negotiations" between his left-leaning Democratic Revolution Party, or PRD, and President Felipe Calderón, whose government the electoral runner up repeatedly refers to as "spurious" and "illegitimate."

Several hundred thousand adherents showed up in the Zocalo -- a respectable turnout, but far short of the numbers he attracted during the tense months following the election, which Calderón officially won by 233,831 votes. The attendees, according to observers, lacked the same fervor that led many to shut down central Mexico City for six weeks last summer.

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