Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Go girl go!

As we have discovered, a handful of votes in the local elections one way or another can make a difference as to who gets to rule at the town hall. A mistake made in the count at one of the voting tables is therefore taken very seriously. In Torrevieja, the United Left have contested the count at one of the voting tables which has led to a delay in the inauguration of the mayor.

They face the same same problem in Mojacar where the election was a closely fought contest which the Partido Popular party (PP) won by a single seat majority. However that may be all changed because Jessica Simpson, an English councillor who won a seat with her Mojacar Positiva Se Mueve party, said that errors were made on one of the voting tables.

Ms Simpson said: "There were seven voting tables and on one of the tables the PP were counted as having 121 votes and two void votes, which would have given them a total six seats of a possible 13.

"The count was signed off but ten minutes later they did a recount and suddenly it changed to 122 votes and one void, which then gave them seven seats and an overall majority”.

A separate investigation, again ordered by Ms Simpson, is simultaneously underway into allegations that the PP paid the Roma community for their postal vote, although this claim, she says, will be harder to substantiate.The average postal vote take up across Spain was between two and three per cent, yet it came in at 18 per cent in Mojacar.

The piece of evidence that Ms Simpson has to support her claim is the handwriting on the postal vote envelopes which she says is all the same adding that it's not unheard of for people to receive €150-200 for their postal vote.

Already the expat's arrival on the local political scene is making waves in what is a small town of 10,000 people, made up of 70 per cent foreigners. Ms Simpson relocated to Mojacar from Nottinghamshire with her parents in 1987, when the local mayor set about stimulating the local economy by selling off empty houses to foreigners at discounted prices. The result was that 45% of the population are now English and only 30% Spanish.

PS I'd like to bet that the make up of the council does not reflect the demographics of the population!

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