Spanish politics this week has followed a script full of dramatic twists, with one party as the main victim: Ciudadanos. Inés Arrimadas has seen in just a few days how her operation to evict the popular Fernando López Miras from the presidency of Murcia (whose Government she shared) has been ruined by the betrayal of three of her six deputies. The PP, in breach of the anti-transfuguism pact, succeeded in getting those three leaders to remove themselves from the motion of no confidence in exchange for a position in the Government. In the same carom, Arrimadas loses Murcia and Madrid.
The three Citizens deputies changed their minds in just 72 hours. After stamping voluntarily your signature on a motion of no confidence against López Miras on Tuesday night, this Friday they decided to break with the decision their party and abort the motion. The episode, with which the PP violates the anti-transfuguism pact that he signed in 1998 and revalidated in 2020, It will allow the popular people to retain power in Murcia —except for a last-minute surprise— and leaves Cs in a serious internal crisis: it loses its participation in two of its four autonomous governments.
Citizens: “they are turncoats”
The register of the Assembly of Murcia sealed at 9.56 last Wednesday morning a motion of censure against the Murcian president, Fernando López Miras (PP), signed by 23 deputies: 17 from the PSOE and six from Citizens. Two days later, this Friday, three of those Cs parliamentarians appeared with López Miras in a public appearance in which they announced that they broke with the decision of their party and were going to vote against the motion. In return, two of them have achieved personal benefit: a new post in the Murcian Government as councilors; the third retains the position it already held: the vice-presidency. The Directorate of Citizens, in the state of shockHe expelled them from the party in a sudden way with five words: “They are turncoats. They have bought them ”.
The popular ones deny having breached the anti-transfuguism pact. This political agreement, the breach of which does not entail practical consequences, defines as defectors “the local, autonomous and state representatives who, betraying the political subject (political parties, coalitions or groups of voters) who presented them and presented them to the corresponding elections , have abandoned it, have been expelled or deviate from the criteria set by their competent bodies ”. The National Directorate of Citizens has announced that it is going ahead with the motion of censure; therefore, the three deputies are departing from the criteria defined by the party for the Government of Murcia.
Citizens have not hesitated to define them as turncoats, a power that also includes the antitransfuguism pact for doubtful cases: The agreement specifies that it is the affected parties themselves that must determine it. “When doubts arise about which people have incurred in transfuguism, it will be (…) the party that proposed them and (…) who will clarify in writing who has left the training, have been expelled or have departed from their discipline , for the purposes of their qualification as turncoats ”, the agreement reads verbatim.
The Arrimadas party accuses the PP of “buying” its former deputies with public office. Two of them, Valle Miguélez and Francisco Álvarez, win a position in the Government that they did not have: Miguélez will be a Minister of Business, Industry and spokesperson; and Álvarez, of Employment. The third wayward deputy, Isabel Franco, remains vice president of López Miras. Franco had been facing the national leadership of her party for a long time, to the point that, when presenting the motion, Cs decided that she would not be the candidate to preside over the regional government but another councilor, Ana Martínez Vidal.
“This has not happened since tamayazo“Complained Cs spokesman Edmundo Bal – referring to the famous case of Madrid politics – in a mid-afternoon appearance, where he also denounced” mafia behavior “in Murcia. The Government Delegation had to protect the Cs deputies from the threats they have received since the announcement of the motion.
Ciudadanos has seen how the play has turned against him, to the point that he could lose everything he had at stake. The party negotiated with the PSOE to expel the PP from power in Murcia and win its first regional presidency, but not only will this not be the case, but also the operation triggered the call for elections in Madrid, where Cs, who was in the Government, runs the risk of disappearing. The popular Isabel Díaz Ayuso pressed the nuclear button that she had been wanting to activate for months due to disagreements with her partners. It remains to be seen that Cs now achieves representation in the Madrid Assembly: a Metroscopy survey released this Friday leaves them out.
Arrimadas comes out very bruised from an operation that got out of hand and that has set off an internal crisis in his party that had already given signs of threat to his leadership after the electoral crash in Catalonia. Then, the president of Cs managed to appease the criticism of her barons, but now she will have to face an executive next Monday in which important leaders are going to ask her to dismiss her hard core, with Carlos Cuadrado, the deputy secretary general, totally questioned .
The fiasco of the Murcian operation also affects the Socialists, who had bet on the change in the regional government to try to re-float Ciudadanos as a national political partner. Moncloa wanted to be able to count on the Arrimadas party as a possible alternative to United We Can and the nationalists, but the move ends up burying potential allies.
The only one that benefits is the PP. At the beginning of the week, Pablo Casado had lost one of his closest barons, that of Murcia, and was facing an election in Madrid in which he also risked losing the Government. With this maneuver this Friday, piloted by the general secretary of the PP, Teodoro García Egea, Casado saves the furniture: he keeps Murcia and also leaves another of his competitors on the right practically liquidated. The number two of the PP, Murcian of origin, is also reinforced internally before the criticisms of the barons. Married seems to have given Arrimadas a check in Murcia.
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.