November 29, 2006

Scenario No. 2: Rosales goes AMLO

Katy says: I'm going to follow up on Quico's post and work through the second of the four scenarios: the possibility that opposition candidate Manuel Rosales does not concede victory, and declares massive fraud.

The credibility of a move like this will depend on four main factors, as I see it. They are:
  1. The size of Chavez's lead
  2. The evidence of fraud brought forward
  3. The attitude of the CNE and the TSJ
  4. The attitude of international observers
As should be obvious, a move like this can go wrong in many different ways (ask Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, or closer to home, Enrique Mendoza). Nobody likes a sore loser, so if you're going to declare the election null and demand radical action, you better have the goods to back it. That means, roughly put, that Rosales has to have the votes, the chads, the crooks and the musiús aligned.

The only way this scenario can become anything but a total disaster for the opposition is if:

  1. The CNE declares Chavez the winner by a margin of 5% or less;
  2. The Rosales camp quickly brings forth substantial and convincing evidence of fraud, hopefully stemming from the audits of the machines (government abuse prior to the election doesn't really count, since by participating in the election you are implicitly conceding that point, as much as we hate it);
  3. The CNE and the TSJ act in a blatantly partisan way and shut the door on any possibility of admission that the process was flawed; and
  4. International observers side with your concerns.
Even if these conditions are met, going AMLO is still a risky proposition. But if you don't have your ducks lined up in a row, it would be a disaster.