Mayoral elections in the Mexican city of Xalapa, scheduled for next month, feature an unusual candidate - a black-and-white cat called Morris!
And thousands of residents have pledged their support to this new candidate who, they claim, makes no false promises, unlike previously nominated corrupt politicians referred to as "rats" in Mexico. The slogan on Morris' Facebook page - El Candigato Morris - reads:
"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."
The elections will take place on 7 July and posters, fliers and videos produced for Morris' promotional campaign have already earned the languorous feline nearly 130,000 "likes" on Facebook and over 4,000 followers on Twitter.
Incidentally, the number of followers on Facebook, for Morris, is considerably more than that for the five human mayoral contenders so far. The leading human in the race, Americo Zuniga, had a mere 33,000 "likes" on Friday.
"In this state there is no rule of law, there is no respect for human rights, there are no institutions," Giovanna Mazzotti, a 48-year-old university professor told the New York Post. "It's great that this campaign is showing the fiction in our elections. Every three years politicians laugh at us, it's good to laugh at them a bit, too," Mazzotti added.
Although Morris' name will not appear on ballot papers, his campaigners have urged supporters to either write Morris' name or a picture of a cat's face... to vote for their choice of mayor. And the decision to enter Morris in the race came after voters were disillusioned with the "hypocrisy" of conventional politicians, accoridn to an unidentified academician, speaking to RIA Novosti.
"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.
"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 fulfil," he added.
So what does candidate Morris have to say?
Well, his Facebook page has a number of memes - some of them show Morris yawning as he describes his "ample legislative experience". The image is meant to mock lawmakers who have been photographed sleeping during congressional sessions.
Incidentally, Xalapa is not the only city in Mexico to have an animal run for mayoral elections. Chon the donkey running in the city of Ciudad Juarez, Tina the chicken in the city of Tepic and Tintan the dog in Oaxaca City are examples of non-traditional politicians!
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