Electoral institute members meet in Oaxaca. Electoral institute members meet in Oaxaca.

17 candidates out after suspected gender rules fraud

Only two were accepted as genuine transgender candidates

Electoral authorities in Oaxaca have provisionally disqualified 17 candidates from running in municipal elections on July 1 because they are likely not transgender women as they claimed.

Members of the State Electoral Institute’s complaints’ commission unanimously approved the precautionary measure, citing “suspected irregularities” in the candidates’ registrations.

The decision will remain in effect until a definitive decision is taken by the electoral institute’s general council.

Last month, political parties including the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) and the conservative National Action Party (PAN) nominated 19 candidates for mayor in 12 municipalities in Oaxaca who they said were transgender women.

The move was allegedly an attempt to circumvent a state electoral law which stipulates that parties must nominate an equal number of men and women as candidates.

However, a range of groups including a women’s collective challenged the registration of all but two of the 19 candidates, charging that they are not actually muxes, men who from a young age were drawn to living as females and are considered a third gender in Zapotec culture.

The president of the Collective for Women’s Citizenship, Anabel López Sánchez, charged that five political parties had acted in a “dishonest and fraudulent” manner by registering candidates as transgender women when they were really men.

López argued that the nomination of men as transgender candidates meant that women had lost access to candidacies they are legally entitled to.

Several of the candidates who tried to pass themselves off as transgender women had previously stood for public office as men and had not previously identified as being transgender, she added.

“The vast majority are married men with families who can’t be identified as transsexuals either due to their physical appearance or other characteristics,” transsexual woman and electoral councilor Michell Altamirano Pacheco said.

Another electoral councilor, Gerardo García Marroquín, said that while the 17 candidacies remain cancelled, the parties and coalitions affected by the provisional ruling will be permitted to make the necessary adjustments in their nominations to ensure that they comply with the gender parity law.

In a statement issued after the decision was handed down, the electoral institute said that it “will be vigilant that the constitutional principle of equality is adhered to, and that women have effective access to public office.”

Electoral authorities are also expected to impose sanctions on the parties that committed the attempted fraud.

Source: El Universal (sp)

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