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felix salgado Morena's controversial candidate for Guerrero governor.

Morena to reopen candidate selection process after outcry over rape allegations

Félix Salgado, accused by five women of sexual assault, says he will run again

Facing intense pressure to dump an alleged rapist as its candidate for governor in Guerrero, the ruling Morena party announced Friday that it would conduct a new selection process to find a contender for the June 6 election.

The party’s honesty and justice commission said its members had voted unanimously to order a repeat of the selection process.

The decision came after thousands of Mexicans demanded that Félix Salgado Macedonio, a federal senator (currently on leave) accused of sexually assaulting five women, be stripped of his candidacy.

Women have protested in Mexico City and Guerrero state capital Chilpancingo and the hashtag #NingúnVioladorSeráGobernador (No Rapist Will be Governor) has been used countless times on Twitter.

Despite the accusations he faces, the 64-year-old has maintained the support of President López Obrador, who has claimed that the allegations are politically motivated, and other high-ranking Morena officials including national party president Mario Delgado. He was considered the frontrunner in the election for governor.

While the honesty and justice commission has ordered a new candidate selection process, Salgado was not precluded from participating in it. He indicated in a social media post on Friday night that he planned to seek the party’s backing for a second time.

“Cheer up colleagues! There is [still fight in the] bull,” Salgado wrote on Facebook.

The nickname of the former mayor of Acapulco, who has boasted about his sexual exploits but denied the rape allegations, is “El Toro” (The Bull).

Yolitzin Jaimes, a member of the feminist collective Las Revueltas, said the withdrawal of Salgado’s candidacy is a positive first step but urged the authorities to continue investigating the rape allegations.

“… He has to go to jail, … he mustn’t return to the Senate and he mustn’t be nominated [for governor] by any political party because … it’s very probable that he’s seeking to go to the Labor Party [a Morena ally],” she said.

One person who has already indicated that she will contest the new selection process is Morena Senator Nestora Salgado García, a former community police chief in Guerrero who spent 2 1/2 years in jail between 2013 and 2016 on charges of  kidnapping, murder and robbery.

“Now is the time for a strong woman, from the social struggle and above all from the common people, to govern Guerrero. With the accompaniment of the people, I raise my hand to lead the fourth transformation [the federal government’s self-anointed nickname] in my state and lay the foundations for a more prosperous, fairer and more egalitarian Guerrero,” she wrote on Twitter.

Source: El Universal (sp) 

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