Tuesday, January 25

Two barons stand up to the PP leadership’s attempt to control their territories | Spain

The president of the PP, Pablo Casado (right) and the general secretary of the PP, Teodoro García Egea, during a meeting of the Training Management Committee.
The president of the PP, Pablo Casado (right) and the general secretary of the PP, Teodoro García Egea, during a meeting of the Training Management Committee.DAVID MUDARRA / PP/EFE

The waters descended revolts already between the national direction of the PP and the barons by the fiasco of the Catalans, but now the tension has shot with two of the regional presidencies of more weight of the popular ones. The reason is the territorial renewal of Pablo Casado’s party, which the heads of governments of Castilla y León and Andalusia interpret as an attempt to subtract organic power or to move their chair, although in Genoa they deny it. Alfonso Fernández-Mañueco and Juanma Moreno will stand up for control of their regions.

The conflict is fraught with tension, especially between the national leadership of Pablo Casado and Fernández-Mañueco, who has never been in tune with the general secretary of the PP and the leader’s right-hand man, Teodoro García Egea.

Mañueco, according to sources close to his presidency, suspects that there is an attempted “coup d’etat” by the leadership against him due to the movement behind him by a group of leaders of the Castilian-Leon PP, who intend to present an alternative candidacy in the provincial congress of the PP of Salamanca, his place of origin.

The group, led by former provincial deputy Chabela de la Torre and Senator Bienvenido de Arriba, has acknowledged that he met with García Egea at the Genoa headquarters in Madrid. Mañueco was not aware of that encounter, which has triggered the alarms in his environment. The president of Castilla y León suspects that it could be the beginning of a series of movements by the secretary general to end up discharging him from the presidency of the party in that community.

In the surroundings of Mañueco they do not see Pablo Casado behind these maneuvers, but they do see his number two, Teodoro García Egea, while underlining the “loyalty” of the Castilian-Leon president with the leader of the PP. Casado supported Mañueco last Tuesday, like the rest of the regional presidents, in a gesture aimed at reducing tension. The national leadership, for its part, flatly denies any attempt to “harm” Mañueco and stresses that the proof of its willingness to reach consensus with the party leadership in Castilla y León is that the Valladolid and Ávila congresses, which are held this March, they will have a single list agreed with him.

The internal renewal of the PP, which Casado has just promoted two years after the congress that made him president, has the barons restless and runs the risk of threatening organic peace. The popular leader has devised a renewal from the bottom up, that is, it begins with the congresses to elect the 50 provincial presidents of the party, and then continues with the regional leaders. In the Andalusian PP they interpret that Casado tries to control the provinces to subtract power from the barons, with the aim of having the apparatus tied up for a future PP national congress. Although all the regional presidencies rule out, today, any operation to move Casado’s chair.

Now, the barons turn to the attempt of the national leadership to place like-minded profiles in their territories, and they are going to stand up. Sources from the Castilian-Leon government anticipate that Mañueco will have his own candidate in the Salamanca congress —which has not yet been summoned— and, from there, “let the affiliates decide”.

In the PP of Andalusia there is also discomfort with Genoa. The popular Andalusians were in favor of not holding any provincial congress until the worst of the pandemic passes, and they transmitted it to the leadership, but there was no agreement. The conflict is mainly in the convocation of the Seville congress, at the end of March, in which “there is a risk of rupture”, according to sources from the Andalusian PP. Juanma Moreno has launched his own candidate, the mayor of Carmona, Juan Ávila, to compete with the candidate supported by Genoa, Virginia Pérez, as a message that he will not accept the attempt of the national leadership to “control the autonomous structure” , according to those same sources. Moreno, however, supports Casado “seamlessly.”

Genoa denies interference in Andalusia and recalls, as evidence of this, that the congresses in Malaga, Granada and Córdoba will be held with a single candidacy. In Seville they admit that there will be a battle.


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