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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Mexico Awaits Poll Results as 2 Rivals Claim the Presidency

MEXICO CITY, Mexico -- Two bitter rivals declared themselves Mexico's next president, and electoral officials said they would not name a winner for days, sparking cries of fraud and fears of violence as Mexicans waited Monday for a tedious vote-by-vote hand count.

A conservative bureaucrat and a leftist were separated by fewer than 300,000 votes, with more than 30 million counted in a preliminary tally by electoral officials. With results tallied from 90.71 percent of polling places, Felipe Calderon had 36.71 percent to Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador's 35.59 percent.

But the Federal Electoral Institute stressed those results were not final, and said it would not declare a victor until an official count that would not start until Wednesday.

In the meantime, both candidates declared victory, raising questions about their pledges to respect an electoral process in which Mexicans invested hundreds of millions of dollars to overcome decades of systematic fraud.

"We have no doubt that we have won the presidential election," Calderon told supporters.

"Smile: We've already won," Lopez Obrador told his.

"We're going to defend our triumph. We aren't going to let them try to make our results disappear," Lopez Obrador assured thousands of cheering supporters gathered under a steady rain in Mexico City's enormous Zocalo plaza. Moments earlier, the crowd had chanted, "Lie! Lie! Fraud! Fraud!" upon hearing the Electoral Institute's announcement that the race was too close to call.

A drawn-out period of uncertainty could rock financial markets and unsettle Mexico's maturing democracy.

Tensions were already running high after a two-year campaign marked by vicious personal attacks.