Mexican politics in turmoil

TEXT OF STORY

MARK AUSTIN THOMAS: The presidential election was Sunday, but today Mexico begins the official recount. Don't hold your breath, this could take several days, but it's looking as though the markets have already picked their winner. Marketplace Americas Desk correspondent Dan Grech has more from Mexico City


DAN GRECH: Over the past two days, Mexico's IPC stock index has surged 1,100 points. And the Mexican peso has jumped 2 and a half percent against the dollar to its strongest level since May.

Traders are reacting to the unexpected lead of Wall Street's preferred candidate, conservative Felipe Calderon. He holds a 1 percent lead over leftist Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador in early returns.

William and Mary professor George Grayson is an expert in Mexican politics. He says the markets might be reacting too fast.

GEORGE GRAYSON: "If ultimately Felipe Calderon is declared the winner, those walk through fire supporters of Lopez Obrador are likely to take to the streets in ugly demonstrations."

Grayson says the uncertainty of a prolonged challenge could hurt the economy.

Lopez Obrador has taken to the streets twice before after he lost elections to be governor of Tabasco state, and now he's amassing a team of lawyers to challenge the presidential vote.

In Mexico City, I'm Dan Grech for Marketplace.

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