Mexican politicians: Going to the dogs, er, cats?

MEXICO CITY (REUTERS) - Fed up with politicians they call "rats", a group of friends in the eastern Mexican city of Xalapa have put forward their ideal candidate for mayor: a cat named Morris.

Xalapa resident Sergio Chamorro, who adopted the cat in August, said the plan began as a joke between friends borne out of their frustration with the Veracruz state government over freedom of speech.

"Fed up of voting for rats? Vote for a cat," reads one campaign poster featuring the black and white cat, using the Spanish "ratas" for rats and "gato" for Morris.

Mr Chamorro created a Facebook page advertising Morris'candidacy in May. The page went viral in early June and now has more than 125,000 likes.

As the news spread, disillusioned citizens across Mexico nominated a donkey and even a chicken for political offices in the July 7 election.

There are seven official candidates for Xalapa mayor, including representatives of Mexico's three major parties.

Despite his large following, Morris is not an officially registered candidate and Mr Chamorro is asking voters to write in "Morris" or draw a picture of a cat on their ballot.

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