Andrés Manuel López Obrador, 2006 and 2012
The leftist politician nicknamed El Peje -- after a "tenacious river fish" -- is the perpetual also-ran in Mexican politics. Obrador lost the 2006 presidential election by a razor-thin margin, and then went on to be defeated convincingly in the 2012 presidential election. In neither case, however, did he present himself a gracious loser in defeat.
In the 2006 campaign, Obrador declared himself the winner on election night and -- disobeying the election commission's request -- went on to call himself "president of Mexico" as the votes were tallied in the days ahead. Even after Felipe Calderón was declared the winner by 0.58 percent of the votes, the closest in Mexico's history, Obrador approved a ceremony where his supporters declared him the country's "legitimate president."
The 2012 presidential election was no nail-biter -- Obrador lost to Enrique Peña Nieto by roughly 3.5 million votes -- but El Peje's reaction was all too familiar. He once again refused to concede, petitioning the electoral commission to invalidate the election on the grounds of fraud. If the results were allowed to stand, he warned, "a gang of criminals" would be placed in power.
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