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Fox Moves Mexican Independence Day Celebration From Capital


Mexican President Vicente Fox is set to hold annual Independence Day celebrations Friday outside Mexico City to avoid opposition protests against the outcome of the country's July presidential election.

Interior Secretary Carlos Abascal says Mr. Fox will preside over annual Independence Day traditions in the town of Dolores Hidalgo in the president's conservative home state of Guanajuato, 270 kilometers northwest of the capital.

The secretary says Mexico City Mayor Alejandro Encinas will lead celebrations in the city's main Zocalo Square where thousands of leftist demonstrators have been camped for weeks. Mr. Encinas is a member of the leftist party.

Mexican Independence Day commemorates a call shouted by priest Miguel Hidalgo in 1810 for his parishioners to rise up against Spanish colonial rule.

The protesters camped in Mexico City are led by former leftist party presidential candidate Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, who narrowly lost to Felipe Calderon of Mr. Fox's ruling conservative party. Lopez Obrador contested the results, claiming vote fraud. He has vowed to create a parallel government.

Mexico's top electoral court officially declared Mr. Calderon the winner.

He will be inaugurated on December first.

President Fox was constitutionally barred from seeking a second six-year term.
Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.

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