Wednesday, April 26, 2006

MEXICO: Leftist presidential front-runner, Obrador object of negative ad campaign including links to Hugo Chavez, independent vote impacted


In Mexico, Race Tightens for Presidency, New Polls Show
By JAMES C. McKINLEY Jr.
NY TimesApril 26, 2006
MEXICO CITY, April 25 — The race for the Mexican presidency has tightened in recent days after a barrage of negative campaign advertisements aimed at undermining the leftist front-runner, Andrés Manuel López Obrador..... The shift comes after Mr. Calderón's party broadcast a series of attack advertisements calling Mr. López Obrador "a danger to Mexico" and linking him to Hugo Chávez, the populist Venezuelan president who critics say regularly runs roughshod over democratic institutions. ...Now the former mayor finds himself on the defensive, struggling in a statistical dead heat with Mr. Calderón. A large number of independent voters — who make up almost 45 percent of the electorate — are switching from Mr. López Obrador to Mr. Calderón, the Reforma poll suggests... "I am going to continue my grassroots campaign," he said at a campaign rally on Saturday. "They can continue bombing us, calling us liars on the radio and television, but we have the backing of the people. So don't worry, we are fine."... more

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