It had been announced as a seamless agreement with no possibility of surprises, but on the appointed day, the nerves were still present. At noon, minutes before the municipal plenary session of El Escorial that was going to evict the PP from the local government after 14 years, the PSOE candidate for mayor, Cristian Martín, 30, was hastily puffing on one last cigarette, at midday. doors of the consistory. “We have it all tied up and well tied,” he joked. An hour and a half later, the forecast was confirmed: the vote of the mayor of Ciudadanos broke the tie and handed the baton to Martín, who will govern in coalition with United El Escorial, a formation linked to Podemos.
Although there were no doubts, in principle, that the motion would go ahead, the expectation for the process caused a small queue at the gates of the City Hall. Due to COVID, only 18 people were allowed to attend, and some of the most fervent militants lined up from 8 a.m. to not lose their place. When the quota was exhausted, no exceptions were made, so the large representation of the PP, with mayors of towns in the mountains and Senator Ana Camins, had to wait outside. Camins pointed to the 2023 elections, where the evicted mayor, Antonio Vicente, appears to be repeating. “It is going to sweep. He is a very recognized, highly respected and beloved person ”, he praised.
In addition to the popular ones, ready to make amends to the outgoing councilor, there were militants from the other parties at the gates of the Town Hall, almost fifty in total. For the PSOE, the mayor of Leganés, Santiago Llorente, stood out. “I thought there was going to be more mess,” he confessed at the beginning. The deputy of Podemos Mercedes Pérez Merino, who lives in El Escorial and had participated in the negotiations for the motion, confessed “tremendously excited” to end a period in which the PP “has governed this like a farmhouse” based on of “clientelistic networks”.
“Life is like that, there you”
Inside, the mayor still complained in his turn of intervention that they were going to displace him. “It is legal, but it is not ethical or aesthetic,” he argued, recovering the thesis, not supported by any rule, that the most voted list should govern, and even invited the candidate Martín to withdraw. “Think about it, that the same neighbors do not want that change,” he begged, also annoyed by the role of “that strange center-right party that is Ciudadanos … At first they hated each other, now they love each other. Life is like that, there you ”, he grumbled. The mayor of the PP Ignacio Parra, for his part, accused the Councilor for Citizens of “high treason” for turning his back on the popular, and reproached him for having agreed with socialists and purple after a start of the legislature of disagreements.
Although the Citizens’ leadership distanced itself from the motion – the deputy spokesperson, Edmundo Bal, said they were directly opposed – the mayor Marta de la Vera did not waver. In recent weeks, the version had circulated that his support for the initiative came from a personal disagreement with Mayor Vicente, whose inauguration had voted favorably after the elections. “It is not, it is political,” he said and repeated in his turn to speak, during which he criticized those in the town who made him ugly for not having a “pedigree” for not being originally from El Escorial, with 15,000 registered inhabitants, and He congratulated that “people and groups with different opinions” were capable of “reaching a common goal for the good of the people” although, at first, “it seemed implausible.” The agreed motion appealed to the “extreme need to end 14 consecutive years” of the PP Government, which “have caused the loss of quality” of municipal public services, an “opacity and a lack of transparency” in political management and a “clear lack of interest in attending to the problems” of the neighbors.
Martín, who in his speech opted to change urban policy, give priority to the environment, strengthen garbage collection, create an on-call council for emergency situations or a municipal contracting plan that avoids arbitrariness in public employment In his first turn, he appealed to the memory of the resistance against the French in the War of Independence and, once the vote had been successful, he thanked De la Vera for “having endured both social and economic pressures.” Upon leaving, he celebrated: “We know how other motions have been truncated, and in El Escorial they have tried, but the Councilor for Citizens and the rest have stood firm.”
The spokeswoman for Unidas El Escorial, Tamara Ontoria, spoke briefly to defend that their training is not “neither the coconut nor the wolf, but normal people.” The new mayor closed the event without drawing blood: “We appreciate the years of service, I ask that you abandon the tension and I extend my hand. This is democracy, not the lust for power,” he said, after taking the baton of command.