Puebla Governor José Antonio Gali Fayad was in hot water this week after his government handed out thousands of shoes and uniforms bearing his administration’s political slogan.
The free shoes and clothing for students carry a logo that reads “Puebla Sigue,” or “Puebla Carries On,” which some critics argued was propaganda and a clear violation of the law.
The National Action Party (PAN) government handed out shoes and uniforms with the state slogan “Puebla Sigue.”
The Puebla Bar Association said the giveaway was clearly propaganda, given it’s an election year.
“We’ll have to wait and see if the same colors used for the logo are used for the coalition by the wife of the former governor, Rafael Moreno Valle, who is running for governor,” said president Juan de Dios Varela Marino.
Martha Erika Alonso Hidalgo is the PAN candidate for Puebla’s gubernatorial race this year.
Independent legislator Julián Peña said handing out the shoes and uniforms was a violation of electoral law and called for an investigation.
But Cirilo Salas, president of the Legislative Education Commission, said there was no electoral violation since the goal was to help families not buy votes.
The Secretariat of Public Education said the shoes and uniforms were distributed legally and were not associated with any political party. The department also argued that information about the program was published in late December.
The program fulfills one of the proposals in the Plan for Puebla, 22 goals intended to improve the quality of life in the state.
The government gave away 790,000 pairs of shoes at a total cost of 123.7 million pesos (US $6.7 million).
The federal government was criticized three years ago for giving away thousands of digital television sets in a program designed to hasten the conversion of televisions from analog to digital.
The sets were delivered in boxes bearing the federal administration’s slogan, Mover a México (Moving Mexico).