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IN BRIEF/Mexico

Leftist Declares Himself President

July 27, 2006

Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, who is challenging the results of the July 2 election, alleging vote-rigging, declared himself president in a TV interview and said his supporters would step up a campaign of civil disobedience next week.

The leftist, who lost to conservative Felipe Calderon by a tiny margin, said a rally Sunday in Mexico City would show that his backers had the energy to keep up protests.

"I am already president. I won the presidential election. I am president of Mexico by the will of the majority of Mexicans," Lopez Obrador said on Univision's "Here and Now" show.

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