Pablo Casado received this Wednesday at the PP headquarters the regional presidents of the party in a meeting called to discuss a solution to the deep crisis that the organization is going through. Casado is reluctant to resign immediately, today, as demanded by the majority of those present at the meeting, to make way for the new leadership of Alberto Núñez Feijóo. His idea is to arrive as president at the extraordinary congress that should exalt the Galician leader.
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This is confirmed by elDiario.es sources familiar with the debate that has been held in Genoa since nine at night, one hour later than expected. The reason, that Casado and Feijóo have held a bilateral meeting before, since shortly after seven. Few doubts remain about who is, except surprise, the designated successor.
Most of the regional presidents attended the meeting in Genoa. Only the Catalan, Alejandro Fernández, and the Balearic, Marga Prohens, have been missing. Almost all those present have expressed in the last few hours, also this Wednesday at the door of the PP’s national headquarters, their hope that the crisis, opened just a week ago after the leak of the alleged espionage to Isabel Díaz Ayuso’s brother, will resolve as soon as possible.
And that implies that Casado resigns tonight to launch a quick relief process. The formula would go through convening a National Executive Committee that chooses from among its members a person to temporarily replace it and lead the party to congress, as established by the PP statutes.
Tonight’s appointment was called by Casado on Monday, when he still hoped to stay at the head of the PP, to win a battle that was slipping through his fingers. His Steering Committee, the closest core to him, split in two. Several deputy secretaries threatened to resign if a National Board of Directors was not convened to give way to an extraordinary congress to elect another president. An ultimatum was issued: if it was not called within 24 hours, they would resign.
Casado endured until there were barely two hours left to complete the time. The trickle of desertions among his people was continuous. But the final blow came when those deputy secretaries, with Cuca Gamarra, Ana Pastor, Javier Maroto, Andrea Levy and Jaime de Olano, launched a notice in the form of a message on social networks. The ultimatum was still in force. Teodoro García Egea resigned as general secretary and Casado signed and sent the call for the National Board of Directors.
The departure of Egea, precisely, makes it easier for Casado to aspire to fulfill this last will. His already ex number two He became everyone’s great enemy since last Thursday he announced the opening of a file on Ayuso for payments to his brother. Since then, he started a war against all the barons to mobilize his host at the provincial level. He believed he could win the National Board of Directors that they were forced to convene. A body made up of an undetermined number of people who, according to management sources, exceeds 400 members. But Egea also lost.
Before the final surrender, on Monday, Casado was looking for options that would allow him to remain at the head of the PP. He phoned the territorial barons. And he summoned them to the Genoa meeting. An appointment in which another bitter confrontation could take place. But the events of Tuesday have lowered much the tension, and expectations. Casado has given up and now it is a matter of statutory deadlines.
But are they all thinking in the same terms? Not seem. The idea that has been installed among the leaders of the PP, both organic and institutional, is that the game is over. On March 1, the JDN convenes the extraordinary congress and Pablo Casado makes a final speech. He announces his resignation, an organizing committee of the conclave is elected, which directs the party until then. Closed ovation and something else.
Is that the “dignified exit” that Casado longs for? No, according to what his environment assures this medium. The still president of the PP believes that he has eaten many “humiliations” in the last week. Everything, as García Egea explained in an interview on Tuesday, “for asking.” For asking, yes, for a hypothetical corruption that points to Ayuso, which has become a great rival precisely since they began to inquire about his brother’s contracts with companies that contract with his Community of Madrid.
To avoid further “humiliation” he wants to “arrive as president at the extraordinary congress.” And, above all, to know first-hand what Feijóo’s “plans” are. The president of the Xunta has been acclaimed by all as Casado’s successor. Even those who in 2018 opted for Casado and reneged on the soft and moderate candidate of the Galician baron himself, Soraya Sáenz de Santamaría. Today, those “hardliners”, aligned with the speech of José María Aznar y Faes, willing to give the “cultural battle” to Vox, are betting on a very different profile to lead the party and lead it in the intense electoral cycle that began just ten days in Castilla y León, and which passes through Andalusia (to be convened in 2022), municipal and regional (May 2023) and general (scheduled for the end of 2023).