Still too close to call in Mexico

Dan Grech Jul 4, 2006

TEXT OF STORY

MARK AUSTIN THOMAS: Mexico’s young democracy is in a tough place right now. Early returns show business-favorite Felipe Calderon ahead by one percentage point over rival leftist Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador. But the official count doesn’t even start until tomorrow, and it could drag on for days. So how is business reacting to all of this? Marketplace Americas Desk Correspondent Dan Grech reports from Mexico City


DAN GRECH: Heading into Sunday’s presidential election, leftist Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador looked like the favorite.

But early returns show pro-business conservative Felipe Calderon eking out a razor-thin victory.

That should be good news for Mexican businesses, but there’s a growing fear that the country could be thrust into chaos if Lopez Obrador contests the result.

ANDRES OPPENHEIMER:“This is the worst possible scenario for Mexico. Mexico already had a problem of having a weak president, now it’s going to have an even weaker president.”

Andres Oppenheimer moderates a political roundable that airs across Latin America.

Conventional wisdom says if Mexico wants to compete globally, it needs to pass fiscal, labor and energy reforms. But for the past three years a divided Congress has led to political gridlock.

OPPENHEIMER:“What this tells us is that Mexico is living in a political paralysis, leaving this country farther and farther behind China and India and Eastern European countries.”

An official vote count will start tomorrow.

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

Marketplace is on a mission.

We believe Main Street matters as much as Wall Street, economic news is made relevant and real through human stories, and a touch of humor helps enliven topics you might typically find…well, dull.

Through the signature style that only Marketplace can deliver, we’re on a mission to raise the economic intelligence of the country—but we don’t do it alone. We count on listeners and readers like you to keep this public service free and accessible to all. Will you become a partner in our mission today?

Your donation is critical to the future of public service journalism. Support our work today – for as little as $5 – and help us keep making people smarter.