The direction of Ciudadanos has decided to change again the primary regulation that governed until now for the celebration of these internal processes and to demand guarantees again. The measure, which had been abolished in 2016, will affect not only the election of candidates for the party’s presidency but also extends to choose to head the list for the “presidency of the Government”, a modification that has been reintroduced Without specifying whether it refers only to the President of the Government of the Nation or also to that of the autonomous communities. The clarification is important if one takes into account that in Andalusia primaries have to be called shortly if there is finally an electoral advance, as everything points out.
Citizens decide their future in a primary that will face two models: continuity or change
As this wording has been able to verify, in article 30.2 of the new Primary Regulations it is stated that “the candidacy for the presidency of the Government must be endorsed by 4% of the total of the affiliates that make up the electoral census of the corresponding constituency.” And that “the maximum number of guarantees will be 8% of the total number of affiliates.”
In addition, article 17 of the same Regulation now determines that the candidates for the presidency of the party will also need endorsements and that the lists to be able to attend those elections “must have the endorsement of at least 1.5% of the affiliates with the right to vote. ”Two requirements that had been eliminated and were no longer applied in the last primaries for both positions.
According to sources from the Citizens’ directorate confirm to elDiario.es, the approval of these new electoral rules was taken at the last General Council held on October 22. This body is the highest among Assemblies, Manuel García Bofill continues to preside over it, and its meetings are no longer usually made public or the press is called. Neither are the agreements made known later, except for exceptions. These sources indicate that the approved electoral regulation “that regulates all internal elections to offer the maximum guarantees and rights to members, was approved by a large majority and there was no amendment.”
Re-demanding this endorsement requirement was already considered by the new party leadership in 2019 when Albert Rivera was still leading the party, after verifying the avalanche of applicants who had to head some of the lists, including that of the European Parliament. Then there was 236 affiliates who wanted to compete with Luis Garicano, despite knowing in advance that they were not going to defeat him. Although some did not meet all the required requirements and were rejected by the competent body, this entailed having to offer everyone else the opportunity to appear at press conferences at headquarters and delay the voting and counting process. As a result of this episode, the door was left open to “agree on the need to present those guarantees that should not be less than 5% nor greater than 10%”.
Andalusia and Marín in the spotlight
It so happens that in Andalusia, Ciudadanos has to convene this internal process shortly before the ever closer possibility that there will be an electoral advance after the coalition government, of which Juan Marín is vice president, has not managed to move forward regional budgets. And it is important to know if in this case these changes will affect or not, something that the sources consulted still do not specify. At the moment, the Andalusian regional leader has already had a rival: Carmen Almagro, a militant from Seville belonging to the critical current Renovadores Cs who was in turn elected by the members of this platform in a process of primaries. Almagro has only applied but his candidacy will not be firm until the process is officially opened. The one who seems not to be eligible for the position is the counselor Rocío Ruiz, after verifying that Inés Arrimadas is giving all her support to Marín.
Precisely, the spokesperson for the critical current Renovadores Cs, Antonio Espinosa, has criticized these changes on his Twitter account, highlighting that only municipalities with at least 350 members can have the right to primaries. “Therefore, only 1% of the municipalities will be able to call these internal processes.” “The Standing Committee [núcleo duro del partido que dirige Inés Arrimadas] it will be the one that designates all our representatives by hand ”. “In Ciudadanos the obstacles, impediments and difficulties to participate and exercise internal democracy are increasing. There are more and more handwritten appointments, ”Espinosa lamented.
Another piece of information that is unknown and that will surely once again become a new internal workhorse, is the real number of members that the party now has and how many appear in the census with the right to vote. Until now the delivery of this census has been denied to candidates for the primaries, which has led critics to accuse the party leadership of “lack of internal democracy” and “opacity” in these electoral processes.