Mexican President-elect Felipe Calderon has taken presidential powers in an unusual midnight ceremony, amid plans by leftist lawmakers to block Friday's formal inauguration in Congress.
Mr. Calderon assumed control of the presidential residence in Mexico City at a low-key ceremony.
The new conservative president will face a group of hostile leftist lawmakers when he goes to Congress to take the oath of office. They have accused him of fraud in the July presidential vote, and have camped out at the podium where Mr. Calderon will be sworn in. Calderon supporters are camped out at the other end of the podium.
The incoming conservative-leaning president announced Thursday that he will take the oath of office in Congress as mandated by the Mexican constitution.
Leftist politician Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador narrowly lost the election to Mr. Calderon. Lopez Obrador has rejected tallies that show him losing the vote. He is calling on supporters to rally in the capital and disrupt the inauguration.
Among the foreign dignitaries scheduled to attend the ceremonies are former U.S. President George H.W. Bush.
Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters