Edmundo Bal, and the leader of the party, Inés Arrimadas, have closed an impossible campaign this Sunday, trying to maintain the same discourse with which they started it two months ago. If the 4M achieves representation in the Madrid Assembly the plan is to reissue the pact with the PP of Isabel Díaz Ayuso Despite the fact that the regional president has not only confessed that she prefers Vox, but repeats that she is willing to free herself from the ties that the coalition entailed. Ayuso concealed the call for elections from his partners, dismissed the vice president and the councilors of Ciudadanos and attributed everything to his suspicions of a motion of censure that his partners have always denied. Then the PP unleashed an opa to capture positions and candidates in the ranks of Arrimadas.
Edmundo Bal, a rocker without a band in the Madrid campaign
No survey predicts that Ciudadanos can achieve the 5% of votes necessary to have representation in the regional Assembly. To achieve this, the party entrusted Edmundo Bal, state attorney and one of the star signings of Albert Rivera. Vertigo has taken over the party where the critical sector watches arms to demand the resignation of Arrimadas and the convocation of a new Assembly where the future of the training is decided, which has not stopped losing support and affiliation since Albert Rivera left in Congress in 10 seats, of the 57 they had before his fateful November 11, 2019.
In the party and outside of it, there are many who still do not understand why Arrimadas insists on wanting to close an agreement with the same PP that has been humiliating and mistreating them since the Catalan elections where Casado’s began the hostile bid with the signing of Lorena Roldán, which ended in the candidacy of Alejando Fernandez. “Those who have designed this campaign are the same as they were before. And they are the ones who have convinced Arrimadas that these elections can only be raised as a face to face with Vox, which is the only segment where we can fight and fight. position ourselves taking into account the circumstances in which we find ourselves, “say leaders of the Madrid organization. The same sources believe that in the event that they have representation, Ciudadanos can only aspire to be “investiture partner of the PP because it will not have sufficient strength to claim presence in the regional government.”
“Arrimadas has believed this prophecy and we are slaves to it,” adds the same critical voice, which warns that Ciudadanos should have positioned itself “as a true center party” and after 4M “negotiate with the majority candidacy, asserting its program and “not give as the only option an agreement with the PP.” Faced with this “error”, “those who were thinking of voting for Citizens directly will decide to vote for the PP, since they already know where our support is going,” reflects this same fountain.
However, both Arrimadas and Bal have been insisting throughout the campaign on the need to “finish implementing a project that worked and that was good for Madrid.” “This Tuesday the people of Madrid are going to have the opportunity to choose the good known, which is Ciudadanos, managing well in the Community of Madrid, and the good to know, which is Edmundo Bal ruling for all Madrid, not for half against the another half of the citizens “, proclaimed this Sunday the leader of the party in the act of the festivity of the Two of Madrid.
Along with that message, both the party leader and the candidate have reiterated in practically all their acts that in these elections what is at stake is for the PP to agree with them, who represent “moderation” and “tolerance”. Faced with the “confrontation agenda”, which Bal has said at the end of the campaign, Iglesias and Gabilondo have wanted to impose on them.
The candidate has continued to warn that they are not going to let Ayuso throw himself into the arms of Vox, a party that on the other hand they refuse to fit into the extreme right since a “sanitary cordon” is imposed as requested by the candidates of the left. “That government worked well, because it was a good agreement, it had good managers and good projects.” “We cannot change a successful government for an experiment and a personal whim,” Arrimadas has insisted.
Opposite they have placed the PSOE and United We Can, rejecting any possibility of understanding with Ángel Gabilondo and Mónica García, the leader of Más Madrid, as Albert Rivera did in previous regional elections. The argument they use is that Gabilondo “goes in a pack with Iglesias and Más Podemos” -reference to Más Madrid-, while they accuse the leader of the PSOE of saying “the same things that Sánchez said before agreeing with Podemos”, party to the that they consider “a danger” for the Spanish. “We need a serious and moderate government that does not depend on the extremes,” insist Arrimadas and Bal, predicting that “the left is not going to govern in Madrid.”
This strategy of standing alongside the PP accredits the decision of Ciudadanos to be part of the right-wing bloc and not to establish itself as a “transversal” party, as they proclaimed at the beginning, without admitting that this is precisely what is leading to their disappearance. . As if that were not enough, Bal has had to deal with those who from within his ranks have asked for the vote for Ayuso, such as the philosopher Fernando Savater, or with those who have directly demanded that he withdraw his candidacy, such as the businessman Marcos de Quinto , appealing to the “useful vote”.
Vox, in the orbit of the PP
Before Ayuso decided to call the regional elections, the Citizen leader thought that in Genoa they wanted to distance themselves from Vox because it was not the most convenient for Pablo Casado, who had just started a turn to the center with a moderate speech after the break with Santiago Abascal in the debate on the motion of censure that he presented to Pedro Sánchez in Congress. Relations with Casado were then good and although both groups maintain some ideological differences, Arrimadas considered that the leader of the PP was not in the orbit of the extreme right formation. Then he confirmed that Ayuso did, since from the beginning the Madrid leader has made clear what her preferences are for Madrid. Vox, after the failed motion of censure, has entered the Government of Murcia and the PP have assumed it normally.
What consequences will the loss of power of Ciudadanos also have in the capital? No one doubts that from 4M the operation started in Genoa to engulf them and attract party leaders to their ranks will intensify. The takeover was launched less than two months ago and its result has been brutal. The first blow was the door slammed by Fran Hervías, Albert Rivera’s almighty Secretary of Organization, who has installed himself in the office of the number two of the PP, Teodoro García Egea, with his appreciated agenda. Since then the leaks to the PP have not stopped.
Casado revealed a few days ago that long before the Catalan elections he tried to close a pact with Arrimadas so that both formations were integrated into one. “I offered him everything,” he said, “a convergence” to make “generously a new structure” of the two directions. Even that the spokesperson for this new alliance was the leader of Ciudadanos herself. However, he regretted that Arrimadas chose to “overthrow” the PP and put “a red carpet” for Pedro Sánchez. The leader of Ciudadanos gives another version and recalls that it was the leader of the PP who refused to present a single list in Catalonia.
Despite all these antecedents, the Citizens’ leadership believes that the only solution is to repeat the coalition government with Ayuso on the grounds that the left led by Pedro Sánchez “is given over to the nationalists and populists” and with them “Nothing” can be agreed upon, as they recall what happened to them when they tried to close the General State Budget.
The last cartridge of Arrimadas and Bal, then, has been to warn that a pact of the PP with Vox would be “disastrous” for Madrid, so the two have been making constant calls to return to the “successful government” to complete the measures that they agreed at the beginning of the legislature that “they were good for Madrid” and “not to have an anti-vaccination advisor or who wants to impose the parental pin.”
Over time, the only thing that Arrimadas has recognized as “errors” is that they have not been able to “communicate well” both their achievements in Madrid and the reasons for that failed motion of censure in Murcia, which has been the beginning of all their misfortunes. “We have done something wrong when now we only talk about the motion of censure but not about the corruption cases of the PP in that region,” which was what motivated them to present it. For critics, these “errors” are what on May 4 will lead Ciudadanos to disappear.