The so-called “refoundation” of Ciudadanos announced by Inés Arrimadas after the crash in the Andalusian elections could be frustrated before the end of the process – which is already underway – if the pressures arising from within the party itself by officials and affiliates prosper. for the leader to resign and convene an Extraordinary Congress. This Monday, some thirty public officials of the party, including two deputy mayors and provincial deputies, They have launched a manifesto in which they demand the immediate resignation of Arrimadas and his entire team, in addition to the immediate call for said congress to elect a new leadership.
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Among the signatories are Sara Fernández and Mari Carmen Sánchez, deputy mayors of Zaragoza and Alicante (where they share government with the PP); Susana Fernández, spokesperson for the party in Asturias; Susana Gaspar, deputy in Aragon; Javier Gutiérrez, spokesperson for the Alicante Provincial Council; Ilde Ruiz, spokesperson for the Jaén Provincial Council; and the former Andalusian senator Mar Hormigo.
These positions and militants have created a Platform, we are citizens, to unite, launch their ideas and continue attracting supporters. In her manifesto they accuse Arrimadas of “not stepping on the street” and of living “far from reality”. “She is a president detached from reality, who uses Ciudadanos as a shield to hide her own crisis, who does not step on the street and who does not visit the territories or the public and organic positions that are close to the affiliates every day. and of the citizens”, they assure in the manifesto. In addition, they also believe that in Ciudadanos “two souls coexist”, those who have “worn their skin” to make Albert Rivera’s project grow and “those who joined in the heat of the polls, coming to a set table, demanding positions and positions, becoming the closest nucleus” to its successor.
The criticisms do not stop there and point to “strategic errors”, with a surrender to the Government of Pedro Sánchez and Podemos, which are the ones that, in the opinion of this group of critics, have led the party from defeat to defeat, to lose affiliation since many public officials leave the party. “Citizens’ problem is not the logo, nor the color, nor the affiliates, nor those who resigned from their executive responsibilities almost three years ago. The problem of Ciudadanos is that of the people who have run it in recent years, who put their personal and economic interests first, entrenching themselves in office, to the general interest of the party and of Spain”, they maintain.
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In the statement they ask for the Extraordinary Assembly to be held to be able to attend the municipal and regional elections with a new leadership: “There are no longer excuses for not doing it urgently.” “The party leadership wants, once again, to buy time to put the affiliates against a rock and a hard place in January. Too late,” they say.
The deputy in the Cortes de Aragón Susana Gaspar, one of the promoters of the movement, told Europa Press that she considers “more necessary than ever for the party to return to the path of sanity and common sense”. As he explains, “the support for the government of Pedro Sánchez and Podemos, together with the governments that have agreed with them through motions of censure in the last two years, such as those of Murcia city and other municipalities, are contrary to the liberal principles that should represent our party.
For his part, the deputy spokesman on the Board of the Principality of Asturias and secretary of organization, Sergio García, in turn told the news agency “that this initiative stems from the deepest loyalty to the party and, given the current situation , many affiliates and officials from all over Spain have been forced to join forces so that the grassroots take the reins of the party and decide, all together, which party and direction we want”. For Sergio García, “the absence of self-criticism and the passivity with the affiliates, is leading us to the flight of internal talent, currently leaving six thousand affiliates throughout Spain”. “We have to reverse that situation and get excited again,” he warned.
Bal invites critics to collaborate in the Refoundation or to leave
Shortly after the manifesto was known, the deputy general secretary of the party, Edmundo Bal, downplayed this internal movement of the group of critics and rejected the idea of calling an Extraordinary Assembly, and therefore, the resignation of Arrimadas and the entire leadership, of which he is a part. Bal recalled that the party is immersed “in a refoundation process where all ideas are welcome.” In his opinion, these leaders and public officials “have open channels to be heard.” “This is what the party has decided to reoccupy the space of the liberal center that Spain needs,” he pointed out at a press conference from the national headquarters of Ciudadanos after the meeting of the Permanent Commission.
The number two of Arrimadas later assured that, although there are dissatisfied people, “there are many more” who are sending messages to the Executive to encourage them “to continue”, rejecting the solution of a congress and betting on the refoundation that is already underway .
In addition, Bal has pointed out that “he does not understand the confusion that may exist with the number of members” because the party “always publishes this data every year.” As he has revealed, the number at the moment is 12,000.
The party’s parliamentary spokesman has rejected that there will be joint lists with the PP in the regional and municipal elections and has invited those who are not happy to leave: “Those of us who are here are here to continue and row forward. We are here because we believe in the project, we have faith in its recovery and we believe in its refounding”, he has riveted. “They should ask them if their commitment to Ciudadanos remains firm or if they plan to join the PP”, he added.
Meanwhile, in Catalonia, some of the former deputies of the Parliament integrated in Renovadores Cs, have in turn promoted another Platform called Now you in order to later become a political party that brings together discontent not only from Ciudadanos, but from other political formations. According to its promoters, it is a new project “of a liberal and social center”.