The second day of the Andalusian PP was designed to welcome the calm after the storm. The critical moment had passed, the difficult fit of the vice president of the Board and regional leader of Citizens, Juan Marín, and the stellar moment of the president of Madrid, Isabel Díaz Ayuso, indirectly confronting Pablo Casado. Both absorbed the media attention and the headlines of the start of a congress thought and designed to underpin the leadership of Juan Manuel Moreno, but the leadership of the Andalusian PP firmly assures that the speeches of both were agreed upon and shared in minute detail with them.
Moreno took command this Saturday to reposition the center of the debate in Andalusia, gave a coup of authority at the table, and almost shouted at his people to “leave the sterile entanglements that nobody understands” -in allusion to the pulse between Ayuso and Married in Madrid- and that the “unity of the party” is essential to reach his expectations in the 2022 elections, whether in spring or when they play, at the end of next year.
The unit with Ciudadanos en Andalucía is safe from the demolition operation orchestrated by the executive Pablo Casado, and Moreno’s organic autonomy is taken for granted. Ayuso told Moreno on Friday: “Fly free, make your own decisions, be brave, don’t be a puppet”; and the next day, Teodoro García Egea, general secretary of the PP, used up the word “freedom” to tell Moreno that no one has to come from outside, from Madrid, to tell him what to do, which is his prerogative. “Juanma, you are a free person and you always have been. We do not have to come from outside to tell you what to do. Being from the PP is putting the interests of your land above your party,” said Egea, who raised much less enthusiasm from the audience than the president of Madrid. The president of the Board got in the way this Saturday to disavow both, without mentioning them, to focus the focus of the congress on his Government, the management of the pandemic, the collusion of his people and the new executive. The Andalusian PP is a place of silence and the sound of birds, compared to the clamorous noise of its leaders in Madrid.
Thus the Andalusian PP buried the mess caused by the leaked audio of Marín, in which it described as “stupid to approve the budgets in electoral year”, and thus buried its public dispute with the national leadership, busy for half a year to promote the advance electoral campaign in Andalusia to use the predictable victory of Moreno as a platform to boost Casado throughout the country. Casado’s team, which arrives in Granada for the close this Sunday, has taken pains to make it clear that there is no longer electricity between the Andalusian and national leadership, that Madrid respects Moreno’s autonomy to call elections whenever he wants.
Thus was put out the fire that the president of Ayuso caused a day before, when he threw a measured dart at Genoa, asking the Andalusian president to be “brave”, not to allow himself to be “handled like a puppet”, to call whenever he wanted. Casado withdraws the tanks, aware that Moreno is no longer the weak territorial leader of two years ago, when his executive imposed the electoral lists on him, or a few months ago, when he dictated the provincial PP candidates.
Moreno took the stage late in the afternoon to give a speech prior to the election of his new executive and the vote for it. He had the wind in his head and made a pseudo-electoral harangue in which he compared himself with the PSOE, with its recent congress, with its recent history. Minutes before, the former presidents of the Andalusian PP had taken the stage to receive a tribute from the congress: Antonio Hernández Mancha, Javier Arenas, Teófila Martínez and Juan Ignacio Zoido. “This photo can be taken by other parties because they have to hide their leaders,” Moreno said, in direct allusion to the socialist congress a week ago, in which the silenced absence of former presidents Manuel Chaves and José Antonio Griñán became clear [ambos están condenados por prevaricación y malversación en el caso del fraude de los ERE].
The Andalusian president made an explicit and enthusiastic claim of the PP against the “prejudices” that predicted the collapse of the welfare state. Moreno has exalted the Government of change and has spoken of his own as a handful of revolutionaries who faced the impossible, namely, ending 37 years of socialism in power. “They underestimated us, they ignored us, that was their mistake, they believed that we were the crazy people and we were the nonconformists, the rebels. We are the crazy people of the PP”, Moreno shouted, before an employed public.
The leader of the PP asked for the support of his own to make his party the most voted in the next elections. “I ask for your support to make the PP into the majority party for the next four years, a transverse, open, permeable party,” he said. In the elections of December 2, 2018, the popular ones place the turning point of the change of the political cycle in Andalusia, which led to the entry of a right-wing government after almost four decades of the PSOE in power. Moreno came up and in the final stretch of his speech asked for “support to govern the eight provincial capitals”, the eight provincial councils and territories “that until now were vetoed for us.”
But the audience was enthusiastic when Moreno appealed to the “unity of the party”, then the audience turned to enormous applause. “Unity. When we have distracted ourselves in internal matters that nobody understands, and when we have pushed all together, the popular party has come very far. Let us stop from sterile entanglements that nobody understands and let’s focus on the important ones, on the Andalusians, and on changing the Terrible Government of Pedro Sánchez. That is the objective, only that is the objective! Only! “he shouted. At that time, the Andalusian president’s speech resembled that of a candidate for the presidency of the country’s government. “President, president!” Began to chant theirs. “How I fucking love you!” Moreno said. But immediately afterwards, the popular leader made his political future clear: “I’m in Andalusia and I only care about Andalusians. I don’t care about anything else!”
The president of the Board appealed to the debate on the totality of the Budgets, which will take place next Wednesday, in which the opposition will foreseeably knock down Moreno’s accounts with its amendments from PSOE-A, Vox and United We Can. Moreno made that foreseeable defeat a political fortress, pointing out those responsible as guilty of overturning the negotiation that was to promote the agreement. “I will be just as demanding when Casado is president of Spain as now that I am with Pedro Sánchez,” he said.
Moreno has announced some new names in the executive of the Andalusian PP, although the leadership has not changed substantially: Dolores López remains as general secretary and Toni Martín as deputy general secretary. The councilor and spokesperson of the Board, Elías Bendodo, ceases to be the spokesperson for the Andalusian Government and cedes that position to the mayor of Almería, Ramón Fernández Pachecho, and the figure of the general coordinator is incorporated, who will be occupied by Antonio Repillo, currently a delegate of the Board In cordoba. New names are incorporated as area secretaries, such as deputy Pablo Venzal, Pilar Pintor, Joaquín Camacho, Miguel Ángel Torrico, Ana Mata, José Carlos Álvarez and Yolanda Sáez. As members stand out Ana Vielva, responsible for Public Administration of the Board, and the former presidents of the PP-A, Javier Arenas -honorary president-, Gabino Puche and Teófila Martínez.