Following the announcement from the Mexican Federal Electoral Institute that the National Action Party’s (PAN) candidate, Felipe Calderón, had achieved victory in Mexico’s presidential election, the Mexican bishops issued a call to all sides to accept results of the election and to work towards reconciliation between the different political parties.

After praising the Mexican people for, “taking a great step in the path of democracy,” the Conference of Mexican Bishops said in an official statement that, “we must all make an effort of reconciliation between the various political options,” and that, “we do not have citizens viewed as conquerors and conquered; we are all Mexicans; we all desire the good and the progress of the country.”

In the letter, which was sent Thursday, the bishops express that the formation of “inclusive governments,” capable of dialogue and assuming the proposals of different parties is a sign of democratic maturity.

“It is now the time for harmony and for the search for agreement between candidates, the parties, the federal government, the state government, civil organizations, and the whole of society,” the letter continued.

Finally, the bishops exhorted citizens to, “overcome the partisan feelings and passions characteristic of the electoral race, and to consider the elections a process of competition and selection, the official results of which should be accepted.”  

And, they continued, “let us recognize the one winner and prepare ourselves to collaborate with the new government for the good of our country.”

Calderón received 35.88% of the votes, just over half a percentage point more than the candidate of the Revolutionary Democratic Party, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, which announced that it will seek a vote by vote recount.