Shake in the autonomic power. The PSOE and Ciudadanos have presented a motion of censure in Murcia to unseat the popular of the regional and local governments. The pact implies that Citizens will preside over the Executive of the autonomous community, while the Socialists will take over the City Council of the city of Murcia.
Ana Martínez Vidal, until now Minister of Business and spokesperson, will be the candidate to preside over the Murcian Government, and José Antonio Serrano, the Socialist spokesperson and councilor, the candidate for mayor of Murcia.
PSOE and Cs are enough alone with their votes to govern in the community, because they add 23 of the 45 seats in the Assembly of Murcia, with which they have an absolute majority to take it forward, but in the City Council they need the support of United We Can so that the motion, which has confirmed its support, is successful.
Socialist and Citizen sources point out that the agreement is limited to Murcia, because the political situation there was “unsustainable” after several clashes in recent weeks. These sources point out that “there is no global pact” with Citizens and therefore this movement does not have to have consequences in Castilla y León or Madrid, two communities where the rumors of possible censure motions to unseat the PP are constant.
The Socialists explain that the Murcian case is special, due to the political deterioration that had occurred there due to the tensions with Vox, but the truth is that this decision represents a radical turn for Citizens, which in 2019 decided not to agree to any major community or City Council with the PSOE, despite the fact that he could have achieved the presidency or the mayor’s office, and chose the PP as a stable partner.
The decision to expel the popular in the land of the secretary general of this party, Teodoro García Egea, will undoubtedly have consequences in national politics. The commotion in the corridors of Congress and the evident satisfaction of the Socialists was clear proof that this turn has not only local consequences.
The pact has been forging in multiple conversations between representatives of the PSOE and Cs in the community in recent weeks but there have also been contacts at the highest level between national leaderships, according to socialist sources. In the corridors of the Congress, Inés Arrimadas did not want to comment and has referred to the explanations of the Murcian leaders of Cs.
José Luis Ábalos, secretary of organization of the PSOE, will explain the details at a press conference, but his satisfaction was very evident, like that of Adriana Lastra, number twoof the party.
On the contrary, Santiago Abascal, leader of Vox, who seemed clearly annoyed after learning the news, later launched a message on Twitter in which he calls on the presidents of the PP of Madrid, Andalusia and Castilla y León to quickly call early elections to avoid possible motions of censure in these communities. “We demand elections in the autonomies that are at risk of being assaulted by socialism,” says the leader of Vox.
The agreement was cooked in absolute secrecy between Socialists and Citizens to prevent the Murcian president, Fernando López Miras, from advancing the elections and preventing it. According to the Murcia Statute, once a motion of censure has been registered, the president can no longer dissolve the Murcian Assembly to call elections, as stated in article 27.
The PP does have in hand to advance the electoral date in Madrid, Castilla y León and Andalusia to avoid new motions, as has happened in Madrid, by decision of Isabel Díaz Ayuso. The presidents of Castilla y León, Alfonso Fernández Mañueco, and Andalusia, Juanma Moreno, however, rule out following the same path as the Madrid president, and will not advance the elections.
The popular Fernando López Miras was appointed in July 2019 president of the autonomous community with the favorable votes of the PP (16), Ciudadanos (6) and Vox (4) and governs in coalition with Ciudadanos. The socialist candidate Diego Conesa won the elections and obtained 17 deputies in the regional elections of 26-M.
Now, the Arrimadas party will take over the presidency, if, as everything indicates, the motion is successful, despite the fact that it has only six seats out of 45 in the Murcian Assembly. José Ballesta (PP) is currently the mayor of Murcia thanks to a pact with Cs.
Ciudadanos also assures, like the PSOE, that this movement is “punctual” and will not be extended to other autonomous communities, according to official sources. The party of Inés Arrimadas co-governs with the popular ones also in Madrid, Andalusia and Castilla y León, as well as the City Council of the capital.
Only in Castilla y León is the situation similar to that of Murcia, in the sense that the PSOE and Cs together add enough seats to govern without the need for external support from other parties.
Ayuso calls early elections in Madrid
The party of Inés Arrimadas began to weigh the motion of censure as a result of the controversy over the irregular vaccination of the resigning counselor Manuel Villegas, and of around 400 officials and senior officials of the Murcian Health Service who held non-healthcare positions.
The disposition of the Murcian president of the PP, Fernando López Miras, to approve the parental veto (the obligation of parents to authorize, previously and expressly, the attendance of their children to any activity that takes place in the educational center), required by Vox in exchange for his favorable votes to the budgets, ended up tightening the rope.
Diego Conesa, socialist spokesman in the Murcian Parliament and general secretary of the party in the region, recalls that his party won the elections in 2019. “From the beginning, we made an offer to Ciudadanos to support them in the Murcia City Council if they supported us in the region, but it was not possible, “says the leader of the PSOE to this newspaper.
Conesa considers that there are two key facts that could explain the change in Citizens: first, the management of vaccination in Murcia with the “tremendous scandal” of the doses administered to hundreds of senior officials and officials, and the approval of the parental veto that requires Vox to support this year’s budgets.
The socialist leader stresses that the most important thing is to end “the client network of the PP after 26 years in power.” “We have been generous because the important thing is the region,” he points out, regarding the handover of the presidency to Ciudadanos. In return, the PSOE will preside over the municipalities of Murcia, Caravaca de la Cruz, Ceutí, Fuente Álamo and Pliego.
In Murcia City Council, sources from Cs describe the situation as “unsustainable.” Mario Gómez, first deputy mayor of Murcia and councilor for Fomento por Ciudadanos, had denounced last October 2020 that he suffered harassment for his work against corruption in the municipal government of the city.
This Tuesday, the PP made the Councilor for Health in the Murcia City Council resign, Felipe Coello, who had been vaccinated irregularly, to try to save in extremis the pact with Citizens, but it was not possible.
The participation of United We Can is necessary for the motion to prosper in the Murcia City Council. Sources from Podemos have confirmed that their two councilors from United Podemos will support the motion.
The Popular Party has reacted with deep anger to the thrust of its regional partner. Sources from the national leadership of the PP assure that it is “an agreement of Citizens with the PSOE and with United We Can”. “That is to say, Arrimadas pacts with Iglesias”, they affirm, and “allows the radicals to govern in Murcia.” “It is a great irresponsibility.
And it brings enormous instability in the middle of the pandemic for no reason. Arrimadas breaks his word, he said that the agreement would last four years ”, criticize popular sources. The Citizens’ movement is a blow to Pablo Casado’s PP, which loses one of its five barons and one of its closest, and adds more questions to the opposition leader’s strategy to reunify the center-right.