It is unusual for a candidate for the Presidency of the Andalusian Government to voluntarily withdraw from the public campaign agenda for three consecutive days, without meetings, without a substitute and without explanation. This is what the Vox candidate, Macarena Olona, has done, who will not intervene in any public act or offer any rally asking the Andalusians to vote between now and next Friday.
Sources from Santiago Abascal’s party confirm that Olona’s public agenda is clear this Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. Over the weekend they will coincide again in three acts, on Friday in Jaén, on Saturday in Huelva and on Sunday in Marbella (Málaga), also with the leader of the Italian extreme right, Giorgia Meloni, president of Fratelli d’Italia.
Vox’s decision to withdraw its candidate from the public scene – “she has an agenda and private meetings” – has caught public radio and television stations by surprise, which must comply with a campaign coverage plan endorsed by the Electoral Board of Andalusia. This coverage distributes the space between the main parties, according to their representation in Parliament, from less to more. The time that corresponds to Vox cannot be replaced by any other formation or space, because the far-right party itself could denounce it.
When Olona withdrew, and without the party having replaced his gap with another member of Vox, both the directorates of RTVE in Andalusia and Canal Sur have had to consult their respective legal services on how to cover the space that corresponds to the party of Abascal, confirm sources from both public entities. It is a complex decision, given that Vox has made the constant denunciation of the media -especially the public- a hallmark, accusing them of manipulation, making their candidate invisible and demonizing them.
In the absence of a few days for the electoral campaign to start, Vox filed a complaint with the Electoral Board of Andalusia against the direction of Canal Sur for an alleged “non-compliance”, in the news of said public entity between the 15th and 22nd of this month of May and for the benefit of the PP-A, article 66 of the Organic Law of the General Electoral Regime (Loreg), which refers to “respect for political and social pluralism, as well as equality, proportionality and informative neutrality in the programming of the publicly owned media during the electoral period”. The complaint was signed by Olona’s campaign manager, Álvaro Zancajo, who was the first news chief of Canal Sur appointed under the government of Juan Manuel Moreno (later dismissed by the director general of the public entity, Juan de Dios Mellado).
The Electoral Board dismissed Vox’s complaint, because “it does not meet the demands of the plot load” which, in its opinion, is required, and “it is limited to essentially making an accounting, with very little specific specification of its content , of the time that Canal Sur’s television news programs have been devoted to various politically relevant people or political groups, considering a period or time block that is also freely selected, without explaining the reasons for their choice, and referring, also without greater specificity, to the information highlighting positive or praising aspects of ‘the management carried out by the PP in the Andalusian Government’, thus not adequately distinguishing between the Government and one of the political formations that support it”.
This Monday, Macarena Olona started the RTVE electoral debate, precisely congratulating herself on the opportunity to be able to “directly address the Andalusians without manipulation”. Vox’s criticism of the media, public and private, is also a constant in the candidate’s rallies. Vox attends these elections without the usual electoral program, unlike the rest of the formations, but it has released a brochure with ten measures, among which is the closure of Canal Sur. Andalusian public radio and television is shielded in the Statute of Autonomy and no regional government can suppress it without a reform of the Organic Law, which was ratified by the Congress of Deputies and by the Andalusians who voted for it in a referendum.