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Leftist, conservative each claim Mexico vote win

Election official says presidential election too close to call

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MEXICO CITY, Mexico (CNN) -- Two leading candidates have claimed victory in Mexico's presidential vote, even as the country's top election official deemed the result too close to call.

"It is not possible within the margins established in the quick count to say what party has obtained the highest vote," said Luis Carlos Ugalde, adding "it is not possible to say at this point in time who has won."

The counting of ballots must be completed in all 300 of Mexico's voting districts, with an official count of the votes set to take place on Wednesday, Ugalde added. (Watch what officials are saying about premature celebrations -- 2:13)

With only 52 percent of the vote counted so far, news agencies quoted conservative Felipe Calderon of the ruling National Action Party as having 38 percent of the vote.

Leftist Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador of the coalition, led by the Democratic Revolution party, has nearly 36 percent.

Robert Madrazo of the Institutional Revolutionary Party is a distant third.

The very close and incomplete results did not stop the two top candidates from each declaring himself the winner.

"We are absolutely sure that we have won the presidential election," Harvard-educated Calderon told supporters.

Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, the fiery leftist former Mexico City mayor, also declared himself the winner.

"I mean to say that we have won and I am very grateful to the majority of the Mexicans for their support," he said.

Obrador has spent months traveling Mexico delivering a message of hope to the nation's poorest.

In the absence of a clear winner, President Vicente Fox appealed for calm: "Citizens, we can have complete confidence that each one of our votes will be properly counted and respected."

Regardless of who is elected, Mexican-U.S. relations will be dominated, as in the recent past, by the issues of immigration, trade, drug trafficking, the war on terror and security along the 2,000-mile border separating the North American neighbors.

About 85 percent of the illegal immigrants streaming into the United States are from Mexico, which is the America's third-largest trading partner.

Obrador, for one, has said the solution for the rise in immigration lies in more investment at home, and he has called for the United States to help create more jobs in Mexico.

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