WASHINGTON, June 17 (by Karin Zeitvogel for RIA Novosti) – Mexicans in the thousands have pledged their support for a political candidate with a different outlook in next month’s mayoral election in Xalapa: a black and white cat called Morris who’s vowing to rid the university city of rats.
“Tired of voting for rats? Vote for a cat. Only a cat can restore order in the face of all the rats who go after political posts,” reads the slogan on the Facebook page of “El Candigato,” which is a play on the words “candidate” and “cat” in Spanish.
Morris is running the purrfect campaign for the July 7 election, with Shepard Fairey-style posters and fliers and slickly produced videos winning him 124,000 pledges of support on Facebook and nearly 4,100 followers on Twitter as of Monday.
The authorities in Xalapa have said Morris will not appear on ballot papers, but his supporters have been urged to write in the cat's name or draw a picture of a feline as their choice for mayor.
If Morris wins a large number of votes, his supporters want the election to be declared null and void and new polls to be held, one of the feline candidate's backers, a professor at the University of Xalapa, told RIA Novosti.
Morris was nominated to run for mayor because voters in Xalapa were fed up with the “hypocrisy” of corrupt politicians -- called “rats” in Mexico –, said the academic, who asked not to be named.
“What we’re trying to do with Morris is to open the eyes of the city of Xalapa and all of Mexico to the fact that politicians – the human ones – only seek to grow their own personal economy, not that of the city,” he said in an exchange of messages on Facebook.
“We’re tired of politicians who, during the election campaign, come and give you their hand and make promises that, when they’re elected, they don’t fulfill,” he said.
Morris, on the other hand, makes no promises other than “to sleep and get into capers,” his Facebook page says.
Animals are livening up other mayoral races in Mexican cities, too, with Chon the donkey running in the volatile border city of Ciudad Juarez; Tina the chicken in the city of Tepic , on Mexico’s Pacific coast; and Tintan the dog in Oaxaca City in the Sierra Madre del Sur mountains.