Tuesday, June 14, 2011

A turn up for the books

Saturday’s election for the mayor in Bigastro brought no surprises, in Orihuela though things were very different. The situation in the city was that the previous Mayor, Monica Lorente PP had 12 seats and the opposition parties of CLR-Claro, PSOE and Los Verdes, had 13 between them, enough to take the majority.

Clearly some sort of pact needed to be formed to gain an overall majority. The PP needed to persuade just one opposition party to join its cause to maintain its 25 year hold on the municipality. On the other side of the fence, reports of a possible three-way opposition pact were confirmed and negotiations began. With six seats, PSOE candidate Antonia Moreno was favourite to be the Mayoral candidate with Pedro Mancebo CLR-Claro a strong contender. However, Friday brought reports of the pact failing after the parties failed to reach an agreement.

Given this background, what actually happened at the pleno meeting was truly amazing. The Los Verdes candidate, Monserrate Guillen, pulled off one of the biggest surprises when he was voted into the Mayoral office by PSOE and CLR-Claro party. Not only does this end the 25 year reign by the Partido Popular but it also put into office the candidate that had the least votes and fewest seats awarded – just three - in the election.

It also appears that the drama will not end there as thwarted PP candidate Monica Lorente has hinted at a Motion Censure – where a councillor or party may change allegiance – may be on the cards. If this happens the balance of power and the role of mayor would revert back to Monica Lorente and the PP, so it’s still a case of watch this space.

In another surprise, the Valencia High Court suspended the investiture vote in Torrevieja, after the electoral results there were challenged by Izquierda Unida. The results gave an absolute majority to the PP candidate, Eduardo Dolón, and he is expected to be invested at the beginning of July.

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