The leadership of the Popular Party sees its general secretary, Teodoro García Egea, “reinforced” and tries to settle the internal criticism verbalized against him by critical leaders in recent years after his role in the negotiation that this Friday allowed to overturn the motion of censure registered on Wednesday in the Region of Murcia by Ciudadanos and the PSOE against the regional president, Fernando López Miras, convincing three defectors from the party of Inés Arrimadas to change their vote to reject the motion in exchange for positions in the regional Executive.
The three defectors of Ciudadanos signed the motion of censure in Murcia two days ago and will enter the Government of López Miras today
Late on Friday, García Egea himself acknowledged that “Citizens” people alerted his party on Tuesday night that the formation of Inés Arrimadas was going to present a motion of censure with the PSOE in Murcia. In an interview on Antena 3, García Egea defended, in any case, the agreement reached by himself with three defectors from Ciudadanos. “What there are are three people who have remained faithful to what they signed in a pact with the PP”, assured the ‘number two’ of the PP, which added that those defectors “signed without wanting to sign” the motion of censure of the who have now retracted. He also said that, “at the rate we are going, when the motion is voted in the city of Murcia” it does not know “if a party called Ciudadanos will continue to live.”
García Egea has been the center of internal criticism since Pablo Casado named him his ‘number two’, after winning the 2018 primaries. Barons and critical leaders directly reproached García Egea first for the turn to the right that the conservative formation undertook . Later, they attributed to him the campaign strategies that never worked at the polls, since the party accumulated successive electoral defeats since the departure of Mariano Rajoy, the last one, that of the Catalans on February 14 in which the PP obtained the worst result in its history there, being surpassed for the first time by Vox.
They also blamed him for a poor management of the financial problems arising from those defeats by directly attributing to him the controversial decisions of leave the historic headquarters of Genoa 13 or from force barons to increase contribution of the territories for the national PP. More recently, the critical sectors affected García Egea’s authoritarian attitude to try to control all the organic levels of the party starting by placing those related to Genoa 13 in the provincial congresses that are being held in recent weeks.
To all this was added this week the beginning of the collapse of his only political achievement in more than two and a half years at the head of the General Secretariat of the PP: the agreements to govern communities and city councils with Citizens and Vox, negotiated directly by García Egea in Castilla y León, Andalusia, Community of Madrid and the Region of Murcia. García Egea became personally involved in the latter, because it is his community of origin and because the still president, Fernando López Miras, is his personal friend, of the utmost confidence.
The motion of no confidence announced Wednesday for his until then government partner Ciudadanos, who added his signatures to those of the PSOE – the most voted force in the 2019 elections – to unseat the PP from both the regional Executive and the Murcia City Council was therefore a hard blow for the ‘ number two ‘of Casado, who was being questioned internally again and whose situation seemed mortally wounded. Even more after the unprecedented political earthquake that triggered this motion, with the rupture of the Government of the Community of Madrid by its president, Isabel Díaz Ayuso, who brought the elections forward to May, with the presentation of two motions of censure against Ayuso by PSOE and Más Madrid, and with the registration of yet another by the PSOE in Castilla y León, to try to prevent an electoral advance like the one in Madrid from taking place there too.
In extremis, García Egea decided this Friday to launch an operation to stop, yes or yes, the motion that was going to expel the PP from power in a community, his, in which he has been ruling for 25 years. And he achieve it. The secretary general of the popular traveled to Murcia and managed to convince three of the six deputies of Citizens, the still vice president Isabel Franco, Valle Miguélez and Francisco Álvarez, whose support was necessary to expel López Miras from the Government and who had also signed the aforementioned motion on Tuesday, so that they would become turncoats and break with their other three companions in favor of the agreement with the PSOE – supported by the national president, Inés Arrimadas– in exchange for Miguélez and Álvarez also entering the regional Executive with annual salaries of 76,000 euros.
Violation of the Anti-Transfuguism Pact
With the sole objective of maintaining power in Murcia, the PP violated with a new ‘tamayazo’ the Anti-Transfuguism Pact that it signed in 1998 together with the rest of the Spanish parties, according to which they undertook “to prevent the use of defectors to establish, maintain or change the government majorities of public institutions, not to support any initiative that comes from the same, and to discourage political transfuguismo through the adoption of dissuasive measures of an economic, regulatory and protocol nature “. The PP, together with PSOE, United We Can and Citizens, among other parties, has been signing this pact for 23 years, which was initially limited to the municipal sphere, but which last November they agreed to extend it to all administrations, also the autonomic ones.
The controversial maneuver, in which García Egea had the support of Pablo Casado, allowed “reinforcing” the secretary general who has been questioned for months by critical leaders of his own party, always in the opinion of the national leadership of the PP. “The role of the secretary general has been very important. It has been key for the Region of Murcia to continue to maintain a Government of Freedom. His role is reinforced,” sources from Casado’s team rushed to explain just a few minutes after it became known. the operation of the defectors.
Genoa 13 also sent an argument to all party officials, to which elDiario.es had access, so that in their public appearances they would defend the negotiation with the Murcian deputies of Wayward Citizens with the position of the leadership of their party. The slogans of the national leadership of the PP maintain that “the Region of Murcia will continue to have a Government of Freedom thanks to the strength of the PP”, and explained García Egea’s operation as follows: “Three deputies of Citizens [en alusión a los tránsfugas] they remain today in the pact signed two years ago to give stability to the Region of Murcia. The president of Ciudadanos Murcia, Ana Martínez Vidal [la candidata a presidenta en la moción registrada por Ciudadanos y PSOE], broke the pact to expel the PP and incorporate the PSOE and Podemos to the governance of a Region in which the center-right was voted by a majority. At a time like this, with the vaccination plan underway and aid to the productive sectors, stability is needed. ”
Casado’s team is justified by arguing that the one devised by Ciudadanos and PSOE “has been the motion of a member of the Government of Murcia (Martínez Vidal) against the rest of the Government, with the support of Arrimadas and the current leadership of Ciudadanos.” “This is the first motion of censure that a government party makes itself and that reveals that the only crisis in Murcia, as in the rest of Spain, is that of Ciudadanos,” added Génova 13 in the arguments that he sent to all popular leaders. Precisely Casado tries to take advantage of the internal crisis of the Arrimadas party and its weakness, evidenced in the polls and, recently, with its debacle in the Catalan elections, to absorb into the PP the remnants of the formation that calls itself “liberal”, in which it would constitute the first step in the process of “reunification of the center right” in the popular ranks devised by the leader of the PP since he won the primaries in 2018, and which in two and a half years has not been able to materialize before the division in three – PP, Vox and Ciudadanos – of the Spanish conservative electorate.
The “distribution of armchairs”
The maneuver orchestrated by García Egea will allow, in the opinion of Casado’s management, that López Miras will achieve “that his project continues to count on the majority of the Murcia Assembly.” “Murcians do not want a reply from the Government of Sánchez in their region. Sánchez and Arrimadas have to immediately withdraw the motion of censure,” they added from Genoa 13 in the arguments sent to all their positions. For the PP leadership, “the PSOE is the other big loser, after failing in its attempt to gain control of a community that elected the center-right in a majority way. PSOE and Ciudadanos have only thought about how to share seats while the PP he has been working for Murcians, “added Casado’s team, just a few minutes after handing out those chairs, with salaries of 76,000 euros per year, to the three defected deputies from Ciudadanos in Murcia.
However, the conclusion drawn in Genoa 13 of the controversial operation that has given a new turn to Spanish politics, in one of its most convulsive weeks, could not be more positive: “The PP has shown its great strength in Murcia and at the national level. It shows that it is the only possible center-right option in our country, with a clear project and values. ”