MEXICO CITY (AP) – Mexico’s election agency has withdrawn the registration of a candidate from the ruling party, despite allegations of rape.
The decision angered President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, who is backing candidate Felix Salgado and criticizing groups of women who oppose his candidacy.
“This is an attack on democracy,” Lopez Obrador said, adding that “strong mafia interests” want Salgado to be disqualified as a candidate for governor of the southern state of Guerrero. “This is anti-democratic.”
The National Electoral Institute decided late Thursday evening that Salgado had failed to report the amount spent on the initial process, that his candidacy would no longer be officially recognized.
Mexico will hold state and federal by-elections on June 6.
Earlier this month, Salgado won the nomination of Lopez Obrador’s Morena’s party, despite complaints from women human rights activists. He did not personally address the allegations, although his lawyer denied the allegations.
Salgado promised to challenge the ruling in court on Friday, calling it “rude and arbitrary”, but did not say whether he had reported all the costs as required by Mexican electoral law.
Salgado was chosen as a candidate in a poll by members of the Morena party, despite the fact that two women accused him of rape.
Lopez Obrador was shocked by the protests against his administration for refusing to break up with Salgado. The president said the question should be left to Guerrero’s voters, adding that it was being raised by his enemies, the “conservatives”.
Salgado was not charged. One case has expired and the other is still pending.
Nicknamed Toro or “Bull Bull”, Salgado is the former mayor of Acapulco, a former lawmaker known for his suspicious behavior. He was filmed in 2000 during a scuffle with police in Mexico City.
Former Guerrero Attorney General Xavier Olean told the Associated Press that current Guerrero Governor Hector Astudillo ousted him in 2017. He ordered not to investigate one of the allegations of rape against Salgado, although Astudillo denied it.