Friday, September 24

Mañueco looks askance at Andalusia to precipitate a new electoral cycle

The president of Andalusia, Juan Manuel Moreno Bonilla, has in his hand to press the button of the electoral advance that transcends the borders of his community and threatens to precipitate a new electoral cycle that his party considers propitious to recover La Moncloa with the polls in favor after the overwhelming triumph of Isabel Díaz Ayuso in Madrid.

By calendar, the Andalusian legislature should end in November 2022, but the parliamentary spokesman of the Andalusian PP, José Antonio Nieto, already said this summer that the celebration in October or even in June of next year would be a mere “technical advance”.

Pending everything that happens in the Palace of San Telmo, but more in a hurry, is the president of Castilla y León, Alfonso Fernández Mañueco, also of the PP and at the head of a Government with Citizens. In this case, with the broken coalition and the latent threat of a vote of no confidence, the second of his term, he should wait until March when the year has passed since the PSOE unsuccessfully presented.

Mañueco has been considering for some time the possibility of an advance that saves him from a Citizens’ operation to dismount him from power. The error of the socialists in the region, who presented their motion of censure with the signature of all their attorneys (35) when they only needed 13, forces them to allow a year to pass to repeat the move. However, the PSOE does not consider repeating the operation for now. In March, the deadline that looms like a sword of Damocles over a bipartisan party mired in a thousand internal wars expires.

The bloodless battle raged with all its roar this week. Last Monday, Mañueco made the first attempt to get rid of his partner, aligning himself with the PSOE to withdraw the primary care reform plan that the Minister of Health of his own Government, Verónica Casado, of Ciudadanos, wanted. The vice president, Francisco Igea, knew it at the same moment in which the president announced it in the plenary session of the Cortes. Then a government that always experienced internal tensions ended up splitting. The novelty of the legislature is that until now it was Ciudadanos who exerted pressure to impose their agenda under the threat of breaking the pact. Now, with the polls on his side and Ciudadanos in free fall, it is Mañueco who plans to get rid of his government partner, with a maneuver that has already served to elevate Díaz Ayuso in Madrid and erase the Arrimadas party from the regional Assembly.

The pulse between PP and Ciudadanos is intense in Castilla y León despite the fact that this Thursday the vice president of the Board assured that in the Governing Council the climate had been cordial, to such an extent that it ended with applause and hugs from President Mañueco at the Minister of Health, Verónica Casado. Nothing is what it seems. Married, forced by Mañueco, has had to summon the leader of the PSOE of Castilla y León, Luis Tudanca, to a meeting to address the future of Primary Care in the Community. Casado’s plan, now aborted, was to close rural clinics to offer care “only on demand” and create grouped health centers that would not be more than 30 minutes away and would serve various towns. The proposal raised blisters: with an aging population and dispersed population centers, it was not even known how to move users to these “mini health centers.” Nor does it seem feasible for elderly people to fight with an answering machine to request that attention on demand in their office, much less, to do it with a app. In some towns there is no mobile coverage, much less broadband. To test the idea, the Plan Aliste was launched in the Zamora region of the same name. The result is general discontent.

After Mañueco disavowed Casado, he pointed to a possible resignation, but the counselor is not going to leave and Mañueco cannot dismiss her because the government agreement provides that each party decides who its advisers are. That is what Igea says, while from the ranks of the PP they point out that it is a matter of time. The supposed calm that exists is not such. Sources of the Popular Party in the autonomic Government reject that everything is in “a misunderstanding of the president” as Igea has said. “None of that, we have beaten this government with zeal and it will not hold,” they tell

From Castilla y León one looks askance at Moreno Bonilla, although the circumstances and the rush of both barons of the PP are very different. While Andalusia has its own electoral calendar that the legislature should take until November 2022, Castilla y León would celebrate them in an ordinary way with the rest of the communities and municipalities in May 2023. In addition, Moreno Bonilla is not discussed internally, something that Yes, he succeeds Mañueco in the national leadership of the PP, and the Andalusian leader’s relationship with Ciudadanos and his partner, Juan Marín, is much more peaceful than that of Castilla y León, without major public quarrels.

Knowing that everything depends on him and reserves the advance letter, for now Moreno Bonilla lets time run. The advance drums sound from the beginning of the legislature when the PSOE assured that it was a government that would last little and Vox began its deployment of threats at all times, although without the blood reaching the river. But PP and Ciudadanos do not stop staging their idyll regardless of what happens between them in the rest of Spain.

With the last section of the legislature underway, the noise is gaining in intensity. Vox thumps harder and the PSOE tries to buy time even by offering to negotiate the next budgets, although in the socialist ranks they work with the scenario that the elections are in spring. What is clear is that the bipartite government of PP and Ciudadanos can afford to divert the debate. The Andalusian president has the button for an election that he has been discarding for weeks and months, although he will not hesitate to activate it – he says – if, due to his minority government, the Andalusian Chamber blocks his legislative proposals. It is the ace up the sleeve that the Andalusian executive keeps to summon between now and December whenever he wants.

Only the lack of support would precipitate an advance that right now seems complicated and, above all, that does not seem to interest either of the two parties that make up the Government at the moment. One because it does not stop rising in the surveys (PP) and another because it needs to improve that data (Citizens).

This political course begins with a heavy legislative agenda. Moreno seeks the validation of two of his “key” projects: the Law of Promotion for the Sustainability of the Territory of Andalusia (LISTA), known as the Land Law, and the new Law of Ceded Taxes that will bring “the greatest reduction in taxes in the recent history of Andalusia “.

The Andalusian Government needs the support of Vox for both initiatives and it is almost guaranteed unless they stage a definitive and insurmountable rupture. With those of Santiago Abascal aligned in economic matters, the stumbling block could be the LIST that Vox already knocked down in the beginning. If the final text includes the “imprint” of the extreme right, its approval will be another walk for Moreno and his government.

From Castilla y León, the popular wing of the Government remains attentive to all these movements with the clock running against them. The popular there fear the consequences of not advancing and moving forward with the legislature so that in a matter of months a motion of censure seizes the presidency from Mañueco, and there are possibilities, because in Ciudadanos, on the verge of disappearance, many parliamentarians see the last possibility of extending his political career in the seat or in positions of a Government, whatever color it may be.

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