Mexico: Playboy bunny “wins” presidential candidate debate
The debate’s assistant or edecan became a hot trending topic on Twitter.
By MANUEL RUEDA
It wasn’t Enrique Peña Nieto, or Andrés Manuel Lopez Obrador, or Josefina Vázquez Mota. It wasn’t even Gabriel Quadri. The unofficial winner of last night’s first Mexican presidential debate was the woman pictured above.
She appeared for 30 seconds and did not say a word. Her only job was to present candidates with a box from which they picked paper slips that decided who got to speak first.
But shortly after her—oh, so brief—appearance on camera, this “edecan,” or assistant, became a Twitter sensation, and sparked debate about how women are portrayed in Mexican society.
“The big winner of the debate is not Josefina [Vazquez Mota] it’s the edecan,” wrote @BetoSalva.
“Is this an erotic show?” replied @Gorkal, under the Twitter hashtag #Edecan.
A fake Twitter account was instantly launched and 12,000 followers jumped on board in just two hours. The account reportedly received a warning from Twitter for cheeky messages like,
“10 more followers and I’m taking off my clothes,” and other sexual messages directed at the candidates.
But the steamy messages didn’t stop there. The account continued to tweet throughout the night and sexy pictures of the hostess— from a previous job as a model— started to appear. All of this while candidates debated how to improve Internet access in Mexico.
It turns out the beloved edecan is a former Playboy Bunny. Her name is Julia Orayen and she was Mexican Playboy’s Playmate of the Month in September 2008.
Julia Orayen: onetime Playboy bunny, now political sensation.
Perhaps it was her choice of clothes for the debate that made her once again so popular and controversial. Even PANAL candidate Gabriel Quadri couldn’t elude her charms, gawking at the assistant as she crossed the stage.
“She made me a bit nervous,” Quadri said after the debate. “It’s impossible not to focus your attention on such a spectacular woman.”
PANAL candidate Gabriel Quadri eyeing the edecan’s attributes.
However, Orayen didn’t impress everyone. Many frowned at the decision by Mexico’s election officials to hire a model—cleavage and all—for the debate, saying it reflects the objectification of women in Mexican society.
The Federal Electoral Institute, or IFE, organized Sunday’s debate. It’s the first of only two presidential candidate debates leading up to the July 1 elections.
Alfredo Figueroa, one of the members of the IFE’s board of councillors defended the agency on Monday morning, explaining that IFE had told the debate’s producer —who works for the Mexican President’s communications office— to have the assistant wear something “somber,” and appropriate for the occasion.
“Our instructions were not obeyed,” Figueroa told the radio show MVS Noticias, adding that the incident would be investigated.
Still, Orayen’s appearance in the debate seems to have somewhat tarnished the IFE’s reputation.
Michael Menesses, a doctor in Oaxaca, pondered on Twitter how much the IFE paid for the playmate’s services.
“I am convinced that the #IFE does not know how to use our tax money properly,” he wrote. “And on top of that they are sexist.”
So was this a sexist move, or just a harmless way to spice up a serious presidential debate?
The next debate, also organized by IFE, is slated for June 10. We can’t wait to see the assistant they will pick this time.
Twitter user @rocky_flowers suggested a hostess for the following debate. (Photo: Twitter @rocky_flowers)