The ruling Morena party has confirmed that alleged rapist Félix Salgado will be its candidate for governor in Guerrero after completing a new selection process in which the former senator was reportedly pitted against four women.
Morena’s election commission announced Friday night that citizens in Guerrero had once again chosen Salgado, who is accused of rape by several women, as the party’s candidate for the June 6 election.
Facing intense pressure to dump the 64-year-old former mayor of Acapulco, including from within M0rena, the party announced in late February that it would conduct a new selection process to find a contender.
Morena polled citizens in Guerrero last weekend to determine levels of support for five different possible candidates, according to media reports. Among the four women who were included in the process were Acapulco Mayor Adela Román and Senator Nestora Salgado.
Félix Salgado was the clear winner of the survey, even coming out on top when those polled were asked to opine on the potential candidates’ respect for the rights of women. He also prevailed in all other categories including honesty and knowledge of the municipality in which the poll respondents lived.
Morena’s election commission said in a statement that it was obliged to respect the people’s will and therefore Salgado, who has maintained the support of President López Obrador and other party power brokers despite the allegations he faces, would be its candidate for governor.
“One of the great objectives of the fourth transformation [a nickname for the federal government and the Morena movement more broadly] is to live in an authentic democracy in which the people are in charge. The people of Guerrero assessed [the potential candidates] and took a decision. We’re obliged to respect it. In the new survey, Félix Salgado Macedonio proved to be the best positioned so the National Election Commission confirms him as the candidate for governor in Guerrero,” it said.
Many women have protested against Morena’s decision to nominate Salgado – including thousands at last Monday’s International Women’s Day march in Mexico City – but the election commission asserted that feminism is strong within the fourth transformation, or 4T.
“Feminism and the fourth transformation are the two main movements in 21st century Mexico (that’s why feminism is so strong inside the 4T). We can have painful disagreements about [certain] issues … but we’re historical allies. Both fight against oppression, violence, inequality and injustice,” the statement said.
“The macho culture in Mexico is a deep cultural problem that has hurt our country for centuries. We have to eradicate this culture.”
After the election commission made its candidacy announcement, Salgado took to social media.
“Thank you very much to the people of Guerrero for … your confidence in another democratic exercise that my party, Morena, carried out. We’re sure that we’re going to win and that the fourth transformation that our president Andrés Manuel López Obrador leads will come to Guerrero. Women and young people are the driving force of the 4T,” he wrote on Facebook.
It was his first post on the social media platform since Monday when he sent a message to women on International Women’s Day even as many of them raged against him.
“My respect and admiration for all the women of our state, Mexico and the whole world. Long live women,” Salgado wrote.
His confirmation as candidate for governor was unsurprisingly met with anger by those who have called for Morena to dump him.
The decision to make Salgado the candidate is “offensive” for the victims of the candidate and all women and citizens, Eunice Rendón, a security and migration expert, tweeted to her almost 30,000 followers. “There is very little shame and empathy with the victims of abuse of this man.”
Source: El Universal (sp)