By RICARDO CASTILLO
Mexican political parties are scrambling to find women who can be candidates in the June 6, 2021 midterm elections. The rush during this year-end week is due to the fact that Mexico’s Electoral Tribunal has set Wednesday, Dec. 30, as the final deadline to register candidates.
Though the search has been on for months, it should not been difficult to find the candidates since in all 10 political parties participating in the midterm fray women are the majority of voters.
In the national electoral profile compiled by the National Electoral Institute (INE) of nearly 92.5 million voters, women represent 51.77 percent of the vote. However, that is the average. In two minority parties, the Party of the Democratic Revolution and the Solidarity Encounter Party, they represent 66 percent of the vote.
In two other minority registered organizations, the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) and the Progressive Social Networks (RSP), women represent 64 percent of militants. At the Green Party (PVEM) they are 63 percent, at the Labor Party (PT), they are 62 percent, and at the recently registered Social Force for Mexico (FSM), they represent 62 percent. Going down the numeric scale, at the Citizens’ Movement (MC), women represent 60 percent, the ruling National Regeneration Movement (Morena) has 53 percent women and the conservative National Action Party (PAN) is at the bottom, but still with a majority of 52 percent.
This majority is the source of a major problem since in real life male candidates are the overwhelming majority, representing, from the results of the last 2018 general election, only 20 percent of elected officials.
Given this uneven representation, since last November, the INE has established new regulations to bring about “gender parity,” since it is clear that in the current dog fights taking place in all Mexican political parties for the nominations there is a lot of shin kicking under the table, with apparently men still kicking harder than women.
This forced the INE to rule that all parties must apply equal opportunity criteria in the choice for candidates for municipal and state hopefuls in the 2021 midterm election, where there are a whopping total of 21,368 public elected officials.
The Electoral Tribunal ruled in favor of the INE mandate,adding that for starters, political parties must postulate seven women and eight men in the 15 elections for governor coming up. Still not, even, but better than in the past.
Deputy Martha Tagle of the MC complained during a press conference over the weekend that this is a reality in her party, forcing her to fight harder, first, to gain the right to run for the re-election for the deputy seat she now holds, and, second, to prevent other women candidates from being pushed aside by male pre-candidates.
However, what is going on right now within the parties is just the tip of the iceberg. Remember that in most election proceedings in Mexico right now, the 10 registered parties are forming alliances, and according to a recent Excelsior daily newspaper poll, they are all having difficulties in finding female candidates.
As an example, the daily mentions the recently formed coalition “Va Por México” (which literally translate as “It Goes for Mexico”) made up of the PRI, the PAN and the PRD. They are still “considering alternatives.” The same is true for other “alliances” that have not yet announced a full roster of candidates, principally for governors and federal deputies.
Other polls contend the only alliance that has “almost concluded” meeting the gender parity mandate is Morena. It has not yet posted its roster of candidates, but it carried out voter sympathy surveys in different states. Party leader Mario Delgado announced six “possible female candidates,” who are also backed by the PT and PVEM in the states of Baja California, Campeche, Colima, Tlaxcala, Querétaro and Nuevo León.
Expect the search of female candidates for governor to get hectic in this last leg of the candidate registration procedure.
The good news is that the deadline is only two days away, when with all the political alliances will — ideally — present their female picks.
…Dec. 28, 2020