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Identifier
Created
Classification
Origin
06MEXICO4310
2006-08-04 13:38:00
CONFIDENTIAL
Embassy Mexico
Cable title:  

AMBASSADOR'S MEETING WITH PRESUMED PRESIDENT ELECT

Tags:   PGOV  PREL  MX 
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R 041338Z AUG 06
FM AMEMBASSY MEXICO
TO SECSTATE WASHDC 2510
INFO ALL US CONSULATES IN MEXICO COLLECTIVE
AMEMBASSY BOGOTA 
AMEMBASSY CARACAS
						73752
2006-08-04 13:38:00
06MEXICO4310
Embassy Mexico
CONFIDENTIAL

R 041338Z AUG 06
FM AMEMBASSY MEXICO
TO SECSTATE WASHDC 2510
INFO ALL US CONSULATES IN MEXICO COLLECTIVE
AMEMBASSY BOGOTA
AMEMBASSY CARACAS


C O N F I D E N T I A L MEXICO 004310


E.O. 12958: DECL: 08/03/2016
TAGS: PGOV PREL MX
SUBJECT: AMBASSADOR'S MEETING WITH PRESUMED PRESIDENT ELECT
CALDERON

Classified By: Ambassador Antonio O. Garza Jr for reasons 1.4 (b,d)



1. (C) Summary: Presumed President-elect Felipe Calderon
told the Ambassador 8/2 that he thought the Electoral
Tribunal could decide as early as this week to recount a
certain number of ballots, a gesture Calderon thought was
reasonable in light of the ongoing Democratic Revolution
Party (PRD) protests in Mexico City. A final certification
of the presidential election could take until late August, he
speculated. Calderon said his role was to be patient and
prepare himself for the presidency. He planned to attend
President Uribe's inauguration in Colombia, but also looked
forward to an early visit to the United States, perhaps
including some cities with large migrant populations.
Calderon is looking to engage on a broad agenda with the U.S.
and to avoid the trap of making migration the dominant
bilateral issue. Calderon's comments led us to believe his
transition planning is in the very early stages. He dropped
one comment that indicated he has not been in close contact
with President Fox since the election. End Summary.

The Waiting Game



2. (C) Presumed President-elect Felipe Calderon requested
the 8/2 meeting with the Ambassador, primarily to express
thanks for President Bush's early and friendly congratulatory
call. (Note: Calderon met 8/1 with the Spanish Ambassador,
and expected to meet with the ambassadors of other countries
offering congratulations in the course of the week).
Calderon expressed his regret about the ongoing PRD protests
(which have blocked key arteries leading to the Embassy's
neighborhood) and some frustration that PRD candidate Andres
Manuel Lopez Obrador (AMLO) was refusing to acknowledge
defeat. While his situation was difficult, Calderon said,
every day he was more convinced a few weeks of patience was
better than just one day with AMLO in Los Pinos. Calderon's
tracking polls indicated that on a daily basis AMLO was
losing support and Calderon was gaining. The PRD's attacks
on election institutions had done some damage, but as AMLO
became increasingly inconsiderate and obstructive the
institutions regained credibility.



3. (C) Calderon reported there were some indications that
the Electoral Tribunal could make a preliminary ruling this
Friday that would allow for a recount of some ballot boxes in
areas where the results were extremely close, or where the
law permitted a recounting of the ballots. He estimated that
some 6,000-8,000 ballot boxes could be recounted under this
ruling (there are a maximum of 750 votes per ballot box).
The recount could begin immediately, with results available
within a matter of days. Calderon's expectation was that the
recount results would not vary dramatically from those

originally reported. This would be enough to satisfy some in
the PRD and broader public who were calling for a recount,
Calderon surmised, but probably not AMLO. The Tribunal could
make its final certification of the election results in late
August, but AMLO could continue protests (although not
necesarily his occupation of Paseo de la Reforma) through
President Fox's annual report to Congress (September 2) and
inauguration day (December 1) -- or beyond.

Transition



4. (C) Calderon stressed his willingness to work
collaboratively with the U.S. on a broad range of issues, and
did not want to get stuck in a single-issue debate on
migration. He expected to differentiate his Administration
from that of President Fox, but at this meeting didn't
provide many specifics. Calderon planned to attend Colombian
President Uribe's inauguration in Colombia next week, and was
considering a trip to U.S. cities with large migrant
populations, starting with Los Angeles. He acknowledged the
Ambassador's point that such travel should be scheduled with
careful attention to U.S. electoral calendar and the debate
on migration. Once Calderon's election was certified, he
hoped as well to meet President Bush and senior U.S.
officials. While the Ambassador pressed for details on
transition priorities and personalities, Calderon wasn't
particularly forthcoming, suggesting his transition planning
is still in its early stages. The Ambassador stressed that
we were looking forward to a close working relationship with
the Calderon team as soon as they were ready.

Region



5. (C) Calderon volunteered his concern over the role
Chavez was playing in the region, while noting that Castro's
sudden absence from the scene -- be it permanent or temporary
-- offered an opportunity to undermine Chavez' role.
Calderon said he understood Chavez was increasingly active in
Mexico. Calderon international affairs adviser Arturo
Sarrukhan stated that Castro had duodenal cancer and was
likely in the final stages. All agreed it was an
unprecedented situation leading to a probable transition.
The Ambassador pointed out that the region should not permit
a Castro-Castro succession scenario to be considered
legitimate.



6. (C) Sarrukhan separately stated that one reason Calderon
had agreed to go to Colombia was to consult with the GOC on
the increasing ties between Colombian and Mexican narcotics
traffickers. During his attendance at Garcia's inauguration
in Peru, Sarrukhan said, Peruvian leaders had also stressed
their concern that Mexican traffickers were playing a larger
role in the Andes generally. Calderon was extremely
concerned about the damage the cartels were doing to Mexico,
and wanted to take strong measures against them.

Comment



7. (C) Comment: Calderon was convinced he won legitimately
and resigned to waiting out the Electoral Tribunal's
ratification of his election -- an outcome he did not appear
to doubt. He appeared in a paid announcement on national
television the evening of August 2 to stress his conviction
that election institutions had acted appropriately and that
his victory should be recognized. Caldeorn let slip a
comment that it was hard for him to reach President Fox -- an
indication that the two are not working closely together
during this period of uncertainty.


Visit Mexico City's Classified Web Site at
http://www.state.sgov.gov/p/wha/mexicocity

GARZA