Sunday, October 24

Ciudadanos clings (for the moment) to the coalition in Euskadi despite the jump of its former leader to the PP

The leader of Citizens in Euskadi, José Manuel Gil, has remained this Thursday as the only public position of the entire party in the Basque institutions. His parliamentary partner and former leader of the orange formation, Luis Gordillo, has jumped to the PP with the argument that the center-right must be united even though PP and Ciudadanos are part of the same coalition in the Basque Parliament and maintain a line of unity action that, until today, both parties considered entirely satisfactory. Gil, publicly, has tried in vain to ask for Gordillo’s seat so that four ‘popular’ and two oranges remain in the Chamber. And he has not ruled out a break with the PP in the face of events that he has described as a “maneuver” or “attack.”

The former leader of Ciudadanos en Euskadi also jumps to the PP and the orange party denounces an “attack” on the coalition

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But that scenario seems unfeasible because it would lead Ciudadanos to be irrelevant in the mixed group accompanying Vox and because it would jeopardize other agreements between both parties in the rest of Spain, as they admit in private, remembering the precedent of Murcia that left them out of the Madrid Assembly as a butterfly effect. Even the option of Gordillo leaving the seat benefits the PP, which takes the following positions on the electoral list of Bizkaia as a result of the pact that in its day gave rise to PP + Cs.

The decision, in any case, will not be adopted hot, they assure in Citizens. Gil learned of the news late on Wednesday and at 7:00 am on Thursday, Ciudadanos issued a statement critical of the operation. From there and until 9.30, the starting time of the plenary session of Parliament that has brought together all the protagonists, the now only orange parliamentarian has been overwhelmed by journalists and a mobile phone that did not stop ringing. He has received many questions and had few answers, since the staff of the Ciudadanos headquarters in Madrid were not yet in their positions when the plenary session began. Meanwhile, the leader of the PP, Carlos Iturgaiz, has entered the chamber side by side with his brand new signing. It has shown change as the most natural thing in politics and has opened the door for other people to follow the same path. The session had seven points on the agenda and, to add ingredients to the recipe, in the first the spokesperson was Gordillo and in three more Gil had to defend the postulates of PP + Cs.

Ciudadanos has suggested that he feared something like this would happen. But not by waiting has it stopped being painful. “We knew there were conservative sleeper cells but we continue to believe that the liberal space has a future, here and throughout Europe,” an orange source in the Basque Chamber has graphically explained, adding that the news has not been liked in the ranks of the formation in Euskadi and that will reinforce the internal cohesion of those who remain. A source of the PP, for its part, explains that it was something almost discounted “from the beginning of the legislature.” They expected him after the controversy in Murcia, when Iturgaiz already made the call to make the leap and Gil denounced him in an interview with this newspaper. In fact, a good part of the previous leadership in Álava chose to go to the PP. But the change has come after the Valencia convention.

Gordillo has appealed to Pablo Casado as the only leader of the center-right capable of defeating Pedro Sánchez. Before, when he was the representative of an extra-parliamentary force, he claimed that Ciudadanos differs from the PP by “important nods” to the PNV. “Spain was a bipartisan party in which the nationalists were overwhelmed so that only two parties will be exchanged in power and Spanish society has reacted to that. Today we are a multiparty democratic system, “he said in an interview in 2018. The now ‘popular’ parliamentarian acceded to the seat not on election night but after the subsequent recount, which includes the vote cast abroad and the adjustments of the errors detected. Since then, he has been one of the most active PP + Cs cadres in the Chamber as a spokesperson in relevant debates. The five seats that the PP now has in Parliament, in any case, is still the number lowest in the entire history of the party since the AP was re-founded.

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