Mexico's electoral body blocks ruling party candidate in gubernatorial election over spending report

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Felix Salgado Macedonio, who was running for governor of the state of Guerrero as a candidate of President Andres Manual Lopez Obrador's MORENA party, greets his supporters outside Mexico's National Electoral Institute (INE) in Mexico City, Mexico April 12, 2021. REUTERS/Edgard Garrido

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MEXICO CITY, April 27 (Reuters) - Mexico's highest electoral authority on Tuesday formally blocked the gubernatorial candidacy of a ruling-party politician, backed by the country's president, for failing to submit pre-campaign spending reports.

Felix Salgado Macedonio, a former mayor of the popular tourist destination of Acapulco, had been running for governor of the state of Guerrero as a candidate of President Andres Manual Lopez Obrador's ruling MORENA party.

Lopez sparked controversy with his support for Salgado, who faces a rape allegation which he rejects, despite mounting pressure from feminist groups and members of the ruling MORENA party itself.

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The president said calls for Salgado to step down were politically motivated.

Delgado wrote on Twitter that the ruling was a "clear blow to democracy."

On Tuesday, Mexico's electoral authority also withdrew a second MORENA candidate, Raúl Morón Orozco, who had been running for governor of the state of Michoacan.

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Reporting by Miguel Angel Gutierrez and Raul Cortes Fernandez, writing by Laura Gottesdiener; Editing by Michael Perry

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