Mexico’s electoral tribunal has disqualified 15 male candidates who pretended to be transgender to get around gender parity rules in the southern state of Oaxaca.
The ruling proved thorny for the tribunal, which said in a statement: “The manifestation of belonging to a gender is sufficient to justify the self-registration of a person.”
But the tribunal added: “Electoral authorities must take care with the possible misuse of self-registration, to not permit … the transgender identity be utilized in a deceptive way to comply with the constitutional principle of equity.”
“Not a single spot designated for men was filled by a transgender person. However, 19 places designated for women … were filled by men who say they’re transgender,” said Anabel López Sánchez, director of the Women’s Citizenship Collective in Oaxaca, which denounced the phoney candidates in May.
Mexico has gradually introduced gender parity rules over the past two decades. Previous rules mandated a 60-40 gender split in nominations, while a constitutional reform in 2013 required a 50-50 balance in all congressional candidacies.
But candidates have attempted to get round the law from the start. In 2009, eight female lawmakers requested leaves of absence immediately after taking their oath of office and were replaced by male substitutes.