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Supporters Declare Mexican Leftist Leader Head of Parallel Government


Hundreds of thousands of leftists in Mexico have rallied in the capital to symbolically declare their party's losing leftist presidential candidate the head of an opposition parallel government.

With a show of hands and cheers, demonstrators in Mexico City's main square Saturday proclaimed leftist leader Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador the country's "legitimate president," and set an "inauguration" date of November 20.

Lopez Obrador narrowly lost Mexico's July second presidential election to ruling party conservative, President-elect Felipe Calderon. The leftist candidate contested the results, claiming vote fraud, and vowed to create a parallel government.

Lopez Obrador aides say Saturday's symbolic vote indicates a move toward political opposition to Calderon, and away from protests.

Saturday's rally took place as Mexico celebrated annual Independence Day festivities.

Lopez Obrador supporters had been camped in Mexico City's main square since the end of July to protest the election in a show of civil resistance. They vacated the area Friday to make way for a military Independence Day parade.

Mexico's top electoral court earlier this month officially declared Calderon the winner. He won the presidential election by less than one percent of the vote.

Calderon is scheduled to be inaugurated on December 1. He replaces fellow conservative President Vicente Fox, who was constitutionally barred from seeking a second six-year term.

Some information for this report provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.

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