Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, the left candidate for president in Mexico, says he will not concede defeat in the June 2012 elections., a photo by Pan-African News Wire File Photos on Flickr.
3 July 2012
Last updated at 00:05 ET
Mexico's Lopez Obrador refuses to admit defeat
Second-place candidate Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador says his opponent broke electoral rules
The second-placed candidate in Mexico's presidential election has refused to admit defeat, saying his opponent broke electoral rules.
With almost all votes counted, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador is six points behind the presumed President-elect Enrique Pena Nieto.
Mr Pena Nieto has thanked voters for giving his PRI party another chance and has vowed no return to the past.
But Mr Lopez Obrador has not ruled out challenging the result.
The lefist candidate and former mayor of Mexico City has past form on this front, launching months of street protests in 2006 after losing the last election to Felipe Calderon.
Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador didn't say he would definitely be challenging the election, but nor did he rule it out. That may well set off alarm bells for people who remember the last presidential election result here.
In 2006, a long and protracted legal process began after a disputed vote in which Mr Lopez Obrador refused point blank to recognise the result. His supporters occupied a key avenue in Mexico City, the Reforma, for several months bringing chaos to the capital.
Mr Lopez Obrador even went to the lengths of swearing himself in as the "legitimate president of Mexico" in the city's main plaza, the Zocalo.
Some analysts believe his actions six years ago may have cost him at the polls this time around and during his campaign spots he repeatedly apologised for causing so much havoc to so many people.
Yet with the votes in this election still being counted, the first signs are there that Mr Lopez Obrador is considering a similar reaction.
Mr Pena Nieto, 45, declared himself the winner of Sunday's presidential election after a preliminary count.
He promised to govern "with and for all", saying he would "honour" the PRI's second chance with "a new style of governing".
War on drugs
The PRI (Institutional Revolutionary Party) governed Mexico for 71 years but has been out of power since 2000.
With more than 96% of the vote counted, Mr Pena Nieto had secured 38.05% of votes cast, compared with 31.7% for Mr Lopez Obrador, preliminary official results showed.
Josefina Vazquez Mota, the candidate of Mr Calderon's governing National Action Party (PAN), took 25.44% and has already accepted defeat.
The election campaign was dominated by the economy and the war on drugs.
Many voters abandoned the PAN because of the deaths of more than 55,000 people in drug-related violence since President Calderon deployed the army to fight Mexico's drug cartels.
Mr Lopez Obrador said he would await a full count and a legal review before accepting any result.
In 2006, he launched months of street protests and alleged vote fraud after he was found to have lost to Mr Calderon by 1%.
With nearly half the Mexican population living in poverty, the economy was one of the main issues in the campaign.
Unemployment remains low at roughly 4.5%, but a huge divide remains between the rich and the poor.
Mr Pena Nieto had been presented as the new face of the PRI, a break with the party's long and at times murky past that included links with drug gangs.
The party held on to power for 71 years until it was defeated in 2000.
Mr Pena Nieto built his reputation on the "pledges" he set out for his governorship in Mexico state, focusing on public works and improvement of infrastructure.
Outgoing President Felipe Calderon has congratulated Mr Pena Nieto and promised to work with him during the transition to his inauguration in December.