The shadow of Alberto Núñez Feijóo lengthens over the Galician PP congress to elect his successor. The rise of what is going to be the party’s next leader, Alfonso Rueda, has been accompanied by constant references to his predecessor and the conclave, which started this Saturday in Pontevedra, is not being an exception, starting with the appointment of the Wheel that the organization printed on a panel between the two doors -one in the shape of Galicia, the other in the shape of a pilgrim- that give access to the room in which the event is being held: “One of the walkers changes, but the path keep going”. The phrase summarizes the Jacobean metaphor with which the already president of the Xunta has presented his candidacy for his own.
Alfonso Rueda, a gray politician always in the shadow of Feijóo
Even in his absence, the figure of Feijóo, who this Saturday was giving his support to Isabel Díaz Ayuso in Madrid, has flown over the interventions that have received the delegates at the Fairgrounds in Pontevedra. From the welcome of Ana Pastor, president of the table of this extraordinary congress, who has emphasized that “Feijóo’s work has not finished” because he has to reach Moncloa, to the enthusiastic defense of Elías Bendodo, coordinator of the PP at the state, from the “lighthouse” that was first in the northwest and has now moved to the center. “We have always had a beacon to follow in the match”, he insisted. The Government of Andalusia, of which he was a member, looked towards Galicia, from where the “way was lit” and made decisions by imitation, he said. To Rueda he addressed the qualification of “prudent” and the wish that he achieve the fifth absolute majority for the popular in Galician territory.
He was replaced on stage by the general secretary of the PP, Cuca Gamarra, who began by explaining that this “is not just any congress” and that its importance transcends Galicia: “It is special for the entire PP in Spain.” And it is, she added, because it represents “the meeting point between the path of success traveled by the PPdeG and the new time that has opened for Spanish politics” with Feijóo’s jump to Madrid. The conclave, she continued, is not “procedural” either, despite the fact that Rueda arrives as the only candidate to vote for after the negotiations and the pact with the rest of the provincial barons.
Gamarra thanked the “generosity” of Rueda for taking over both in the Xunta and in the PPdeG: “It is not easy when the one who has preceded you is Alberto Núñez Feijóo”. The one who will be confirmed tomorrow as president of the popular Galicians picked up the glove and assured that his predecessor will be “missed a lot”. In his priorities, he placed it third: first, the Xunta; second the Galician PP; and then “do everything possible” so that he is the next president of the Government.
In what he has prioritized as his second task, Rueda has had the first setbacks. Before reading the names that make up his proposal for the management bodies, he clarified that there were changes until the last moment and did not rule out that there will be more in the hours that remain until the vote is taken tomorrow, Sunday. “I ask for your understanding,” he said.
He began by reciting the names of the board of directors and the executive committee -where Alberto Núñez Feijóo and also his cousin Eloína Núñez will be-, but when he reached those who would be his closest collaborators, he realized that he had forgotten the papers. “Paula”, he called, to ask the one who is going to be his secretary general at the PPdeG, Paula Prado, to bring the lists up on stage for him. This was the first charge of the new team to be revealed. The newspaper advanced Lighthouse of Vigo on Thursday, and Rueda has had time to listen to the reactions and to make a peculiar description of the support and consensus that he assures that they have transferred to him: “Some told me that they liked it because it is hard, others that it seemed hard before but now it is softened. Some said that it is good to draw on experience, others that it is necessary to renew.
After the reading of names, few news have been revealed: the dome will be similar to that of Feijóo. There will be two more deputy secretaries -eight in total- and the ministers Fabiola García and Ángeles Vázquez and the minister Julio García Comesaña will leave these organic positions. As honorary presidents, it maintains José Manuel Romay Beccaría and Mariano Rajoy.
Rueda’s presentation speech has not had specific proposals beyond the names of its top leadership. Before his own he has called for “unity” and “humility”. And he has said he does not understand that in politics they make enemies: “If someone considers himself like that, then there they are.”