Ciudadanos continues to be involved in an internal struggle that is not easy to understand either from the inside or from the outside. More than two weeks after it was announced that Luis Salvador and José Antonio Huertas would be expelled from the party for having supported the PSOE to take over the mayor of Granada, both continue to belong to the oranges. According to the Andalusian president of Cs, Juan Marín, they are “suspended from membership.” However, both continue to belong to the municipal group of Citizens in the City Council.
Luis Salvador’s support for the PSOE of Granada opens an internal war with the Andalusian leadership of Ciudadanos
The scheme of what happens is traced as follows: since Luis Salvador resigned as mayor on July 1, remaining alone after the resignation en bloc of the bipartisan he had with the PP, the break with Ciudadanos is total, but not final, at least in terms of affiliation. Because from the moment he resigned as councilor, Salvador announced that he would support the PSOE against the opinion of the Andalusian and national leadership of his party. An intention that both he and Huertas maintained until the day of the inauguration as mayor of the socialist Francisco Cuenca and that made the oranges announce that same day that both politicians would be expelled from Ciudadanos.
Nothing could be further from the truth. Both Salvador and Huertas continue to belong to the Arrimadas formation and remain in the municipal group that has Cs in the Granada City Council. A situation as anomalous as it is difficult to understand even within the party itself. There are those who point out that what is happening is “pure theater” because there would be tacticism in the decisions of certain members of the Ciudadanos leadership. Since Luis Salvador announced his support for the PSOE, many voices have argued that he will end up returning to the party from which he left a decade ago, even if it is through a position that ensures remuneration. For this reason, sources of the oranges maintain that there are barons of the orange party who have not yet expelled him so as not to definitely antagonize and close the door to the socialists before the more than evident disintegration of Ciudadanos. Some of these positions have long been looking for an accommodation that allows them to survive politically, according to orange sources.
Waiting for the end
From the circle close to Luis Salvador, they clarify that there is indeed a case of expulsion from Cs, but that both Salvador and Huertas sent their pleadings against his withdrawal from the formation. “They presented them and are waiting for something to be communicated to them.” They also explain that “they are not turncoats as they say because they have not left the party to go anywhere. They have contested their expulsion.” In addition, there are a series of deadlines that must be met and that have already been given with other expulsions from the party. “The file can be resolved in a month or six, but it can take forever.”
While this is happening, there have been movements in the Granada City Council that paint an even more incomprehensible scenario. José Antonio Huertas has joined the government team of the socialist Francisco Cuenca. He carries the portfolio of Sports and Finance, as he did during the bipartisan with the PP, and he is the third deputy mayor. Until he is expelled from Ciudadanos, he continues to appear as a member of the orange party in the Consistory and therefore integrates a new bipartisan with the PSOE.
But there is still more. Luis Salvador, who for the moment has not joined that Government team and who at first only publicly refused to participate in the Local Government Board chaired by the mayor, signed a document a few days ago to support the Mediterranean Corridor passing through the coast Granada to improve the economy of the area. Salvador signed as “Citizen Coordinator” “and he did so together with the Granada Provincial Council and Francisco Cuenca, who sealed his commitment as mayor of the city. That signature has also caused discomfort within the oranges who do not understand how it is possible that the expulsion of Luis Salvador was announced, that it has not been made effective and that he continues to boast of belonging to the party in appointments like this.
Events like that show that the contradictions are continuous in Ciudadanos. Its Andalusian president, Juan Marín, insists that Granada does not have a structure and that a new one must be appointed: “At this moment we do not have representation in the municipal group because Salvador and Huertas are suspended from membership and as they are they cannot occupy any organic position Furthermore, as Luis Salvador was a (provincial) coordinator, one will have to be named ””. But sources from the Granada City Council and Cs explain that the municipal group will continue to exist until the party expels them and reports it to the institutions in which it has representation. Something that has not yet happened, as confirmed by the Granada City Council.
In fact, from the surroundings of Luis Salvador they add that “he continues to be the municipal spokesman of the party and, as the expulsion procedure is going, the political group of the Consistory could not be dissolved, at least, until the ordinary plenary session at the end of September, once Ciudadanos had fired them and realized that situation. ” The sources consulted close to the former mayor say that Juan Marín shows “not having a clue” of what is happening in the Granada City Council. “It is more pending to see when the Andalusian elections will be.” And they insist: “They will continue to challenge their expulsion until the last consequences. Even if they have to go to ordinary justice.”
Supports in play
Thus, the reality of Ciudadanos in Granada is extremely complex. On the one hand, Luis Salvador and José Antonio Huertas are suspended from membership, but they continue to act as active members of the party, but on the other hand it is assumed that both will end up leaving as soon as they find accommodation elsewhere. If it has not happened yet, say the orange sources consulted, it is because Salvador has several aces up his sleeve that allow him to pressure his party to have some room for maneuver. The next step the former mayor can take will be enlightening.
In the corridors of the Granada City Council, it is taken for granted that he will end up joining Francisco Cuenca’s government team, but that this will not happen until the media focus calms down. Until then, their incorporation is being negotiated and the PSOE does not deny it. However, this movement must be very calculated because the socialists are risking that United We Can-IU refuses to enter a tripartite with Cs.
The spokesman for the left-wing coalition, Antonio Cambril, has been very clear about this on several occasions. “In Granada, what has been possible in the Government of Spain has to be viable: a preferential agreement with United We Can and not with defectors from the right.” In Unidos Podemos-IU, whose three councilors are vital for the PSOE to overcome the absolute majority of 14 votes in each plenary session, they say they have no problems with anyone, “but with certain political behaviors.” “We consider that the behavior of Salvador and Huertas has not been exemplary, like that of the rest of their partners on the right.”