01 December 2006
Mexico has a new president
Felipe Calderon has been sworn in as the new Mexican President, in a midnight ceremony at los Pinos, the official presidential mansion - or has he?
Mexican law has it that the old president goes out of office at the stroke of midnight on the 1st December. However, does that mean that the new man automatically takes over at that time, or is the country without a president until the official swearing-in ceremony which usually happens at noon?
Given the demonstrations that are expected to take place later today - demonstrations that could disrupt the ceremony - Vicente Fox decided to hand over the presidential sash at midnight. President (we think) Calderon then held his first cabinet meeting and addressed the nation on radio and TV.
More importantly, he has spoken to the armed forces chiefs and they are addressing him as president - which means that Calderon commands the men with the guns.
Rumours have been flying around that Calderon plans to send the heavy mob in to smash the opposition. Taking office at this unearthly hour might mean that he intends to make an early start at this task.
Today could be one of those interesting days.