“I have come to win and to govern. Otherwise, I wouldn’t have come. We are going to try until the last breath, we are going to work on it every day, and we are going to be able to do it if we commit to do it. And my commitment has no expiration date. Does not have it”. This is how the only candidate to preside over the PP has claimed. Alberto Núñez Feijóo, that his party give him the necessary time to try to win a general election. The Galician leader inherits an organization in palliative care due to the bleeding of the war between Pablo Casado and Isabel Díaz Ayuso, whose leader will not have a presence in Congress and who has just sealed a coalition with Vox. Many conditioning factors to be clear about your options the first time, in 2023.
Aznar and Rajoy warn the PP about the internal fights in the enthronement of Feijóo: “It is an irreversible bet”
This was stated in the presentation speech of his candidacy before the XX National Congress of the PP. And perhaps that is why immediately before he remembered that a month and a half ago he decided to “offer the best” of himself “to the country and the party” in the face of the unsustainable situation to which the internal confrontation had led. “I am in the last quarter of my political life. I do not aspire to more. I have no personal ambition other than to serve my country and my party. We have the chance to come back, to convince the Spaniards”, he said.
Feijóo presented this Friday his proposal for the CEN National Executive Committee). That is to say, the names of the body that accepts, monitors and certifies the day to day that the president assumes with his closest circle of the Management Committee and whose members will probably meet on Sunday, according to sources close to the Galician leader.
In the CEN, the new general secretary, Cuca Gamarra, and the general coordinator, Elías Bendodo, a well-known name this Friday, stand out. Feijóo thus divides organic control between the current parliamentary spokesperson, who will continue to confront Pedro Sánchez in Congress, and the Andalusian president’s right-hand man, Juan Manuel Moreno. A decision that is not unprecedented in the PP, but it is new because it was previously made with the ruling party, which forced a third support for the president and the general secretary to be sought.
Now that situation does not exist. Feijóo will not have management responsibilities or a presence in Congress, perhaps in the Senate. And Bendodo, in fact, will focus on the imminent Andalusian campaign, as he has said after his appointment was made public. The counselor of the Presidency and president of the Electoral Committee of Moreno is one of the key players in the autonomous community whose elections, which must be held before the end of the year, will be the first popular test for the new Feijóo PP.
And the precedents are not conclusive. In Madrid it went very well. In Castilla y León, less. And in Catalonia it was a disaster. With Vox on the rise and Ciudadanos in free fall, the fear of repeating a negotiation with the extreme right like the one launched by Alfonso Fernández Mañueco is real.
Feijóo will also have José Antonio Monago at the head of the Rights and Guarantees Committee. The man from Extremadura, who was a foot and a half out of politics just two months ago, is recovering his pulse, although it is not clear that the new position will allow him to reconcile it with that of president of the regional PP, whose renewal must be undertaken immediately. Finally, the Galician places one of his own at the head of the Electoral Committee: the president of the PP of A Coruña, Diego Calvo.
The rest of the names executive they are unknown. Some may be among the 35 who have proposed to the congress as members of the CEN. Among them, the mayor of Madrid, José Luis Martínez Almeida, Ayuso’s spokesman, Alfonso Serrano; the president of the Diputación de Ourense, his rival Manuel Baltar; or the current president of the PP of Navarra, Ana Beltrán, which may also give clues about her future outside the regional leadership.
Feijóo has sent several internal messages to the PP that he inherits. “I do not believe in Adams, leaders or saviors,” he has said. “Common work, collective strength and party unity” are his creed, he added. “Divided and deified are other parties. That way nothing is achieved. But adding together we can achieve what we set out to do”, he added.
The calls for unity have been continuous. Not only in his speech, but also in the precedents of José María Aznar and Mariano Rajoy. The two former presidents of the Government have warned, also for the medium term, that the election of Feijóo is “irreversible”. Even the outgoing president, Pablo Casado, has cried out for the lack of loyalty that he himself has suffered, although in his speech this Friday he has given way to “gratitude”.
Feijóo has also dedicated a few words to Casado. “He has done the Camino de Santiago many times”, he recalled. And he has pointed out: “All pilgrims know that there are many stages on the Camino, very hard sections, very hard. I would like to recognize President Casado’s effort to hold the PP flag on the sections of the road that were not flat sections, but rather uphill sections of enormous difficulty, uncertainty, and kept the PP flag until it was handed over on the day of today with enormous generosity.” “Thank you pablo. Thanks to you and to the people who have accompanied you in moments of extraordinary difficulty”, he concluded.
Feijóo has returned to the path of his speech: “After listening to him I know perfectly well that, I don’t know what day, but I will also go up some stairs to present my resignation. I don’t know when, but I know it will happen. I hope to do it with the gallantry that Aznar, Rajoy and Casado have done”, he said.
It was then that he launched his claims towards his colleagues. “I want a united party, it is a non-negotiable condition”, he has stated. A task that he has expressly entrusted to himself, to the regional presidents and to the members of the CEN. “I’m not asking for follow-through, but I’m calling for adherence to a cause,” he added. And he has settled: “I have not come to destroy anyone, I believe in an inclusive policy of the different and the adversary. I have not come to do without the elderly, the young or those who have had responsibilities before. You can count on everyone, and especially the best”.