1681912588 Garcia Page starts for the Ciudadanos electorate in Castile La Mancha

García-Page starts for the Ciudadanos electorate in Castile-La Mancha

Garcia Page starts for the Ciudadanos electorate in Castile La Mancha

The PP will be the major beneficiary of Ciudadanos’ disintegration in the 28M elections according to forecasts by all polling houses, but the PSOE is not concerned with giving up this potential fishing ground for lost votes. At least in Castile-La Mancha. The Socialists will add mayors and councilors from the Liberal Party to the lists of municipal candidatures, and Emiliano García-Page has advocated having regional CS deputies in his org chart when he reconfirms the board, for which he has the absolute new must set up majority against a coalition of PP and Vox.

“The positions that the autonomous community has will not depend on the map, they will depend on the capacity, whether they are from Ciudadanos or from Podemos. It is a spongy capacity that this government has,” the baron of the PSOE stressed this week, in a gesture also addressed to the left of the Socialists, which reflects that the strategy that García-Page will pursue around Vox to stop will be transversality. In this sense, the signing of María Ángeles Rosado, former national deputy for citizens, as a socialist candidate for the mayoralty of Sayatón in Guadalajara has enormous symbolic power: Albert Rivera generally chose Rosado, a farmer and graduate in political science in the April 2019 elections as list leader in this province, alluding to empty Spain. Ciudadanos got the last of the three seats at stake, losing less than 2,000 votes from the PP. When the general elections were repeated in November, MEPs distributed them to PSOE, Vox and PP.

The PP has already absorbed most of the Ciudadanos electorate in the communities where the main right-wing party called for snap elections and broke any coalition governments it had with the Orange formation. None ended the legislature in Madrid, Murcia, Castilla y León and Andalusia. Ciudadanos still retains an important presence in the Valencian Community Parliament (18 MPs), but those close to Regional President Ximo Puig have no illusions about winning over a relevant part of his electorate. Javier Lambán certainly sees options to win a substantial part of the voter barn that Ciudadanos had in Aragon in 2019 (12 seats) with an overall moderate but very critical discourse towards the independence movement. The sources consulted cite as an example the precedent of Salvador Illa with the PSC in February 2021, which won the Catalan elections thanks to a large transfer of disappointed voters from Ciudadanos: the Socialists shot up from 17 to 33 seats and the Liberals initially dropped to seventh place (from 36 to 6 seats).

Castile-La Mancha’s PSOE finds itself in a position to fish in the turbulent Ciudadanos River. In the party’s regional leadership and executive board, they attach utmost importance to the hiring of cadres from that party, as they would help enter a voter pool that can determine the outcome of 28-M in the community. “Most CS cadres can be left out of the game in these elections… I care more about people than initials,” García-Page noted in an interview with Europa Press this Tuesday. “If the Spaniards had cared more about the acronyms than the people, what happened would not have happened: that all the parties except the PSOE changed their acronyms,” he added. In the last regional elections, Ciudadanos surpassed 120,000 votes and entered the regional chamber with four deputies; the PSOE prevailed with 19 seats and 475,000 votes against 307,000 of the PP (10 MPs). David Muñoz, deputy of Ciudadanos, has already let himself be loved: “If I keep my vision of things and my principles intact, I would have no problem or prejudice working with someone with García-Page’s profile”, he has reacted to the words of the PSOE regional leader. In the regional list of Paco Núñez, the candidate of the PP on 28-M, there is no charge of CS.

Lockdown policies were broken only in Castile-La Mancha in the summer of 2019 with an unprecedented pact between the PSOE and Ciudadanos in the rest of Spain. Albert Rivera vetoed the agreements with the Socialists that allowed the PP to retain four of the five congregations it presided over. But Garcia-Page made Rivera accept his fellowship. The pact implied that the PSOE and Ciudadanos would co-govern three of Castile-La Mancha’s five capitals: Albacete (population 173,000), Ciudad Real (population 75,000) and Guadalajara (population 850,000), in addition to the Provincial Council of Guadalajara and twenty small municipalities. In Albacete and Ciudad Real, socialists and liberals have alternated in the mayoral office for the past two years. In the city of Guadalajara, they governed in coalition with a socialist mayor and a CS deputy mayor.

Former IU local coordinator and former Ganemos councilor in Toledo City Council, Javier Mateo, was also grateful to García-Page, who highlighted “his political value” and offered him to work with the PSOE project. An invitation the mayor has declined because he is focused on “the construction of the Sumar room”. The alliance of Podemos, IU and Equo received 74,000 votes in 2019, a thousand less than Vox. Despite more than 5% support, they did not get any seats after the reform of the electoral law, which María Dolores de Cospedal pushed in her legislature as President of Castile-La Mancha (2011-2015).

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