Mexican standoff tests democracy

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At www.suntimes.com

Stirring memories of the 2000 U.S. nail-biter, electoral officials said a preliminary count gave the conservative Calderon an edge of 1 percentage point over Mexico City's former mayor, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, but refused to declare a winner until an official count begins Wednesday. Sunday night's quick count, which election officials had hoped would show the winner, proved too close to call, setting off days of uncertainty and cries of fraud by fervent Lopez Many had predicted violent street protests if the vote was too close to call, but Lopez Obrador's supporters -- many of them poor -- were apparently waiting for orders from the leader they revere with a messianic devotion. He was holed up in his apartment with top aides to figure out his next move.

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