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Archive for Friday, January 20, 2006

Presidential hopefuls launch campaigns

January 20, 2006

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— Mexico's top three presidential candidates kicked off the nation's five-month presidential campaign Thursday, with leftist front-runner Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador traveling by dirt path to one of the country's poorest towns and promising to govern for the forgotten.

With poverty shaping up as a key issue in the July 2 election, Lopez Obrador was greeted enthusiastically by Metlatonoc residents who fought to shake his hand and hang wreaths of flowers around his neck.

His two main rivals - conservative Felipe Calderon and Roberto Madrazo - also focused on fighting poverty as they battle to replace President Vicente Fox, who is prohibited by law from seeking re-election.

A Reforma newspaper poll, published Thursday, showed Lopez Obrador with a slight lead at 34 percent of voters' support, compared with 26 percent for Calderon and 22 percent for Madrazo.

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