By THÉRÈSE MARGOLIS
After bowing to public and media pressure, Mexico’s incumbent National Regeneration Movement (Morena) has decided to backtrack — at least partially — regarding its decision to run an embroiled Félix Salgado Macedonio for the gubernatorial seat of the Pacific coastal state of Guerrero.
On Monday, March 1, the leftist Morena announced that it would reopen the public referendum as to who would be the party’s candidate in the June elections after Salgado Macedonio was accused of rape by at least three women.
Although Salgado Macedonio, a close friend and political ally of Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO), has yet to be formerly charged with alleged assaults, numerous women’s groups, including several composed of members of Morena, had voiced strong objection to his nomination and demanded that the party remove him from the candidacy.
The controversial former senator and third-time candidate for governor also incurred the wrath of many Morena supporters following a massive birthday party he gave himself in January in the Guerrero capital of Chilpancingo in strict violation of coronavirus protocols.
Moreover, Salgado Macedonio has also faced allegations of receiving bribes in exchange for protecting criminals during his term as mayor of Acapulco, between 2005 and 2008.
Notwithstanding, Morena President Mario Salgado, while reopening the precandidate proceedings for the position over the weekend, refused to ban Salgado Macedonio from running.
In an apparent attempt to capitalize on the mounting resentment against Salgado Macedonio and the resulting flack he has incurred for Morena in the politically key state of Guerrero (currently held by the centralist Institutional Revolutionary Party, or PRI), a new collation candidate, the left-leaning Fuerza por México alliance’s Manuel Negrete, announced that he, too, will be running for the Guerrero governorship in June.
Negrete, who is currently the head of Mexico City’s upscale Coyoacán precinct, is a very popular former soccer star and is likely to give Salgado Macedonio a serious run for his money.
…March 2, 2021