José Manuel Gómez Ruiz, exporter of EH Bildu in the Biscayan town of Güeñes and mayor of the Abertzale coalition between 2011 and 2019, presented his resignation this Friday to be a PP candidate in the next elections. He has done so after the controversy that arose coinciding with the beginning of the electoral campaign in which the ‘populares’ are denouncing EH Bildu’s links with ETA for including ex-prisoners on their lists.
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Gómez Ruiz has communicated his resignation with a brief letter in which he indicates that he has officially formalized his decision to leave the PP list before the Electoral Board. He does it “so as not to harm him due to the information” that has occurred when this signing was known in a very specific context with ETA at the center of public debate in Spain. He adds that in his previous “political affiliation” “he has always condemned ETA and terrorism.” “I trust that my resignation will serve to clear up these doubts and, of course, I will continue working so that freedom becomes a reality in the Basque Country sooner rather than later,” he wrote.
The PP had ‘number three’ on its list for this municipality in the Encartaciones region to Gómez Ruiz. From the party led by Carlos Iturgaiz in Euskadi, it had been explained that he came from EA and not from Sortu, the successor party of the old Herri Batasuna. EA is a small social democratic party that split from the PNV in 1986 and was founded by the first lehendakari of democracy, Carlos Garaikoetxea. In 2011 he formed the Bildu coalition (currently EH Bildu) with the historical nationalist left but also with a split of the IU called Alternatiba – the formation of Oskar Matute – and with the already dissolved pacifist organization Aralar, as well as with independents. “EA is a democratic party. There are many people from EA now who are against EH Bildu”, explained the sources consulted.
Gómez Ruiz, according to political and town sources, got into politics to defend the interests of an agricultural area affected by a highway. He took on some neighborhood leadership and that’s where EA recruited him. He was also elected in 2015 but no longer in 2019. Some clashes with the local PNV, the party led by the City Council, date from that time as councilor. However, from the PP they emphasize that they are “borderline” conflicts and that the courts have ended up agreeing with his former candidate. The PP has been without representation in Güeñes for three legislatures and now this ex-edil of the pro-independence coalition was in third place, with no chance of being elected. Sources from EH Bildu had pointed out to this newspaper that the Güeñes case “is not a loss.” “We are like water and wine. He had little commitment and ideology ”if he has jumped from the Abertzale left to the Spanish right, they reason. In EA they assure that he has not been an affiliate for a long time. And they add: “If he ended up in the PP, he never should have been.”