updated 9/14/2006 6:03:36 PM ET 2006-09-14T22:03:36

President Vicente Fox won’t give his traditional Independence Day salute of “Viva Mexico” from the capital’s main plaza, his interior secretary said Thursday, as supporters of his leftist rival promised to disrupt the annual celebration.

Instead, Fox will take his celebration Friday to the small, central down of Dolores Hidalgo, 170 miles northwest of Mexico City, where Roman Catholic priest Miguel Hidalgo launched the first call for independence from Spain in 1810, said Interior Secretary Carlos Abascal. Other presidents have celebrated Independence Day from there in the past.

The announcement marked the latest showdown between Fox and leftist Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, whose party successfully blocked Fox from giving his last state-of-the-nation address on Sept. 1.

Lopez Obrador, who has vowed permanent protests against the incoming government of Felipe Calderon after losing the presidential race, had promised to upstage the president’s annual cry of “Viva Mexico!” from a National Palace balcony.

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