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Mexico's Attorney-General Resigns

The Mexican attorney general has resigned because of a political dispute between President Vicente Fox and the mayor of Mexico City.


Rafael Macedo de la Concha
he resignation of Brigadier General Rafael Macedo De La Concha, as Mexico's attorney general, was announced by President Vicente Fox, in a nationwide broadcast address. He said he had accepted it and called for unity and dialogue. President Fox says he will send a proposed replacement for ratification by the country's senate.

The political crisis stems from a legal dispute, which alleges that Mexico City Mayor Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador defied a court order, concerning the expropriation of land to build an access road to a hospital.

Three weeks ago, Mexico's congress voted to remove Mr. Lopez Obrador's official immunity from legal prosecution. The attorney general was prepared to follow the law to the fullest extent, which would result in formal charges and a trial. That would have kept Mr. Lopez Obrador from running as a candidate in next year's presidential election.

The attorney general's resignation follows a march by hundreds of thousands of protesters through Mexico City, Sunday, supporting the mayor.

President Fox is now advocating dialogue and conciliation. The departing attorney general has confirmed that he has stepped aside to facilitate this.

The president says he guarantees next year's presidential election process will be legitimate and that each political party will be able to participate.

Mr. Lopez Obrador, who continues to deny wrong doing, has been back at work since Monday, in defiance of the Fox administration, which said he did not have a job to go to any more. Opinion polls show Mr. Lopez Obrador is a clear front runner for the presidential election, which will be held in July.