Monday, December 4

Moreno appoints Marín president of the Economic and Social Council and completes the absorption of Ciudadanos Andalucía

Four months after the June 19 elections, the former Vice President of the Board, candidate and regional leader of Ciudadanos, Juan Marín, has accepted President Juan Manuel Moreno’s offer to join his Government. Marín will shortly be appointed president of the Economic and Social Council of Andalusia, a consultative body of the Junta in socioeconomic matters, replacing the socialist Ángel Gallego Morales, who held the position for a decade.

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With the signing of Marín, advanced by Abc and confirmed by this newspaper, culminates the absorption of the entire leadership of Ciudadanos Andalucía and the regrouping of its main referents under the umbrella of the PP. The former vice president and member of the national executive of Ciudadanos resigned from all his organic positions the same election night in which his party went from 21 deputies to zero. Then Marín ruled out continuing as a counselor in the new Moreno Executive, but left the door open to join his team later, “after a period of reflection.” “When I do,” he said, “I will definitely leave my party.”

Moreno has been capturing, one by one, the first swords of the formation with which he governed in coalition in 2018, in the first non-socialist Executive in 37 years of Andalusian autonomy. In the 19J elections he went from 26 to 58 seats [tres por encima de la mayoría absoluta]thanks in part to having completely engulfed Ciudadanos.

The popular Andalusian baron has been the only one in his party with a harmonious relationship with his orange competitors from start to finish, avoiding loud coalition ruptures such as that of Madrid, Murcia or Castilla y León. With Marín, he also had a bond of friendship, which has served to recruit day after day all the people on his team, but also his internal rivals within the party, such as the former Minister of Equality, Rocío Ruiz, recently incorporated into the Audiovisual Council of Andalusia, or the former parliamentary spokesman Sergio Romero, at the head of the Andalusian Youth Institute.

Together with the Minister of Employment, Rocío Blanco, the only one appointed by the oranges in the last legislature who repeated in the position, they are the most prominent figures of a party that defended the Moreno Executive tooth and nail, but forgot to underline their profile own within that Government, its policies, its initiatives and what differentiated it from the PP, until the popular ones ended up capitalizing on all the success for themselves.

Ciudadanos burst into the regional Parliament in 2015, with nine deputies, and became an ally and supporter of the last minority government of the Socialists, chaired by Susana Díaz. Three years later, the oranges experienced unprecedented growth, reaching 21 seats, remaining five behind the PP. The block of conservative forces was imposed for the first time on the left, giving rise to a PP-Ciudadanos coalition government supported from outside by the far-right Vox party.

In the first general elections of 2019, the oranges were a handful of votes away from consummating the sorpasso to the PP in Andalusia -they achieved it in some large cities-, but the gradual radicalization of their national leader, Albert Rivera, and his strategy of relentless hostility to the PSOE ended up sinking Ciudadanos in the electoral repetition of that year. With the collapse of Rivera, the mirage of the self-proclaimed liberal party collapsed, also in Andalusia, the community where harmony with the PP had worked best. The only one, of all the regional governments in coalition, where the oranges had not been expelled or broken with the popular ones. “The encapsulated Andalusia”, they called it.

Marín now reappears on the political board as a result of that good relationship with President Moreno, who never denied his interest in bringing the vice president back into his government. His role will not be in the front line, but in command of a body that serves as a channel for participation and permanent dialogue of organized civil society in the debate on economic and social issues.

The national direction of Citizens took for granted the signing of Marín by the Andalusian PP. Those of Inés Arrimadas recognize the “loyalty” of the one who was their number one in Andalusia until four months ago and do not hold any reproach against him, although they are convinced that all their references in this community who have ended up switching to Moreno’s team “actually they were not clear about the difference between the liberal and the conservative project”.

Ciudadanos is now in a refounding process that should culminate in a national congress scheduled for next January. Once the new executive is elected, the regional assemblies will take place, almost at the gates of the campaign for the municipal elections in May. Until then, the party in Andalusia will remain in the hands of a manager, without regional spokespersons or referents, either due to a lack of candidates or because the national leadership is now focused on the very survival of the orange formation in the country as a whole.