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Mexico's Obrador: No Faith in Election Authorities

Mexico's leftist presidential candidate said Thursday he has lost faith in Mexico's main electoral agency, and doesn't want them overseeing the national recount he is demanding.

In an interview with The Associated Press, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said Mexico's widely respected Federal Electoral Institute, or IFE, had abandoned its autonomous role and taken become a tool of the ruling party.

"You can't take IFE people seriously," he said. "They don't act according to the law."

An official IFE count gave conservative Felipe Calderon a less than 1 percent advantage in the July 2 elections. Lopez Obrador is disputing that result in Mexico's top electoral court, in a nearly 900-page complaint demanding that the Federal Electoral Court order a ballot-by-ballot recount.

Electoral officials and President Vicente Fox's National Action Party have argued that, under Mexican law, officials can only recount results from a polling place if a party challenges them and the court finds evidence of irregularities or fraud. Lopez Obrador's party has presented challenges for about 40 percent of the polling places.

But Lopez Obrador insisted Thursday that the electoral court has the authority to order a full recount.

"There isn't anything stopping them," he said of the seven judges who will decide his fate, "unless they don't have the political will."

He refused to condemn the court, saying he wanted to first see how it rules