Mexico's conservative presidential contender, Felipe Calderon, declared himself winner in the country's bitterly-fought elections. Preliminary results from the Federal Electoral Institute (IFE) say Calderon, from the National Action Party, has a one per
With results in from 96 per cent of polling stations, Calderon says his lead is now “irreversible” because he has the advantage of almost 400,000 votes. Results will not be verified until a final count later this week.
A Calderon win would see Mexico
keep the free-market policies of outgoing president Vicente Fox and retain its close alliance with the United States
. Rival Obrador could challenge his victory, triggering political deadlock. Delay in confirming the outright winner could spark violence and upset Mexico
's volatile financial markets.