Isabel Díaz Ayuso starts the new political course by opening a new contest for power. This time within the PP itself. The previous season had been dedicated by the regional president to wiping Citizens off the map, the partners who raised her to the top of the Community of Madrid with remarkable success: they ceased to exist in the Regional Assembly. The elections of May 4 that Ayuso insisted for months on advancing – against the criteria of Casado and the national leadership – until the motions of censure authorized by Inés Arrimadas in Murcia gave him the definitive alibi, he had already turned them into a plebiscite between she and Pedro Sánchez with the known result.
And on the first day of returning from his long vacation, Ayuso lets it be known that he is back to fight new battles. This time for the regional presidency of the party, even though Casado had sent clear messages that this does not touch at a time when the polls are smiling at him and the PP tells the press that it is already preparing its first councils of Ministers.
But the regional president has long been managing her own calendar, with the incombustible Miguel Ángel Rodríguez, her chief of staff always in the shadows. Ayuso considers that it is legitimized after the broad support it received at the polls in the 4M, when it doubled its own results for 2019. The announcement has, however, taken by surprise in Genoa 13, the national headquarters of the popular. Pablo Casado has chosen to remain silent after seeing the plans of his leader in Madrid in the headlines. From his executive only the mayor and national spokesman of the PP, José Luis Martínez-Almeida, has spoken on Wednesday to leave a message to his partner on the electoral ticket: it is not the time to open that melon.
For the Congress to decide the new direction of the party in which Ayuso has already confirmed that she will be a candidate, there are still months left. It was announced for the end of this year or early 2022, but popular leaders already assume that it will not be held before the first quarter of next year. That is why the news released by the Madrid president has surprised the party, more because of its deadlines than because someone doubted its intentions.
Everything precipitated this Tuesday on the eve of his return after a few weeks of rest in which he completely emptied his institutional agenda. After having an “informal conversation with journalists” – according to sources close to the Madrid president – after having resisted in recent months to give the last confirmation of his candidacy, the news jumped. Popular leaders assume that the movement “has not been accidental” and that the intention of Madrid’s politics was to return to the new political cycle with the “hurray launched.”
The regional leader thus opens in the new political course and without the Government she presides having presented a draft budget for next year, after two years without being able to approve some accounts or even present a draft. Ayuso continues to govern with the 2019 budgets, approved by Ángel Garrido, long before the situation of the pandemic that has urged administrations to have measures that help alleviate the effects of the economic crisis. The Covid-19 has also shown the seams of the Madrid health system and Ayuso is facing mobilizations this fall of Primary Care health workers who continue to denounce their precarious situation and that the Madrid president has failed to fulfill all her promises to improve their conditions and strengthen the template.
The first announcements as president this Wednesday were limited to a lower tax cut that will represent 0.2% of her budget and that the regional leader herself admitted that they affect an “obsolete” rate and another that “overlaps” with a state one soon to be approved, which would force the regional government to suspend it when they come into force.
“Smoke” and “populism”, the spokespersons of Más Madrid, Mónica García, and that of the PSOE, Hana Jalloul, later called the measure that still must be approved in the Madrid Assembly. Nothing about health nor specifying when the budgets will arrive at the regional Chamber when asked about the deadlines that the Government is considering to present the draft of the accounts in their first public appearance after a month of vacation.
Ayuso also did not want to respond to the announcement of his candidacy and limited himself to replying that Puerta del Sol was not the place to discuss internal party issues. When asked if Casado knew of his intentions to lead the formation at the regional level, the Madrid president only answered that he speaks “every day” with the leader of his party and refused to give details of when and how he communicated it to him, if at all. did.
The news has already raised the first internal resistance. Her partner and second highest institutional position in the region, the mayor of Madrid, avoided supporting her in public this Wednesday and assured that the party is already in “very good hands”, referring to the current leadership of Pío García Escudero and Ana Camins de those who have said, “do a great job” and to whom he has attributed the election results of May.
“I say what I have been saying for months: in my opinion, it is not necessary to speak because the decisions will be made when appropriate, when the congress is convened. the Spanish when the price of electricity is skyrocketing, “said the mayor of Madrid to questions from the press after attending an institutional event.
Almeida, who has always denied that he is going to launch himself into that battle, has lavished himself in recent months in favor of a third way: raising to the organic presidency a figure without institutional responsibilities who is dedicated to keeping the party in order in Madrid. Ayuso’s intentions, however, are very different: to take organic control of the formation at the regional level, after he could prepare his candidacy for the May elections with hardly any interference from the national party, except for the imposition of Toni Cantó in the elections. lists.
Some in the party recall the consequences of a single person controlling all power and cite the case of Esperanza Aguirre. And Ayuso herself no longer hides that her very personal figure begins to be “uncomfortable” for “some insecure” within the PP, as she declared a couple of months ago in an interview on esRadio. The national leadership had resisted endorsing her as a candidate after the 4M elections and even launched the pools for the mayor of Madrid, but the first endorsement of his future leadership came at the beginning of June when the general secretary of the PP, Teodoro García Egea –With whom Ayuso maintains a strained relationship, as recognized by the president’s environment–, he assured that he would bet on her if he had to vote in the regional congress in Madrid.
Now, both Egea and Casado are silent and the only message from the national leadership has been that of Almeida, which he maintains. a close relationship with Casado who appointed him spokesman for the party a year ago. The battle to lead the PP of Madrid will in any case be long until the celebration of the regional Congress scheduled for early 2022.