Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, (better known to his followers as AMLO) who finished 2nd in Mexico's election last week has never been a good loser. After finishing 2nd in 2006 he tied up the capital of Mexico City with demonstrations for months. He swore himself in as the legitimate president and then spent the next 6 years running an imaginary government of his own. There are some who speculate that memories of that spectacle proved his undoing in this current election. Although he belatedly tried to don the mantle of moderate the mantle in the eyes of many voters proved ill fitting.
Now he refuses to recognize the victory of PRI candidates Enrique Pena Nieto. At first he claimed that the very fact that his showing was much better than the polls proves that the polls had been manipulated and it was necessary to stage a recount. He also claimed that the television network had conspired against him.
Now his complaint is that the victorious PRI had effectively bribed voters by providing them with gift cards to use in supermarkets. Two supermarkets had to close their doors for security reasons because they were mobbed by shoppers using the gift cards.
Realizing that his 2006 tantrum was a bit over-the-top Lopez Obrador is expected to harry the new government with legal challenges. Lopez Obrador and students and trade unionists carried out a 50,000 man demonstration in Mexico City to protest election frauds. The demonstrators carried placards in a host of languages including Japanese and Finnish in an attempt to rouse foreign intervention. They also covered the heads of statues with plastic shopping bags from the supermarket chains involved. If the voters were actually swayed by the supermarket gift cards, then they sold themselves cheaply as the cards were worth approximately $7.50.
In any case Lopez Obrador is in for some tough sledding. Election officials and outside observers hailed the elections as among the most transparent in the country's history. A recount of nearly half of the polling stations confirmed the results and world leaders led by President Barack Obama are congratulating and inviting Pena Nieto.