The political marriage of convenience that, with ups and downs, was arranged decades ago by the Popular Party and the Union of the Navarrese People will be put to the test in the coming weeks. After the rupture of 2008, the regional rights regrouped in 2019 under the Navarra Suma brand, which was joined by a Ciudadanos that swallowed the regional peculiarities of the community. The experiment failed in its intention to regain power, after losing it in 2015, and the gradual disappearance of Inés Arrimadas’s party invites the other two parties not to reissue it. An appetizer of what can happen. The earthquake that caused the turnaround of the two UPN national deputies, Sergio Sayas and Carlos García Adanero, in the vote on the labor reform may take the alliance ahead.
The deputies who betrayed the UPN to reject the labor reform launch their project without clarifying whether they will enter the PP
Alberto Núñez Feijóo’s direction is already working on that possible scenario. Without taking the rupture for granted, the tandem that manages the internal threads of the party (the general coordinator, Elías Bendodo, and the deputy secretary of Territorial Organization, Miguel Tellado) seriously values all the scenarios. And they do not rule out breaking with UPN, according to sources from the PP leadership.
“Everything is open”, they point out from number 13 of Madrid’s Génova street. The same sources recall that in 2008 the coalition was broken at the regional level after the UPN deputies in Congress, framed in the PP group, abstained in the vote on the budgets of the José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero Government. An abstention that did not change the overall result, and to which the Navarrese were entitled by the coalition agreement, but which raised suspicions between both partners. So much so that it ended in a temporary separation from coexistence that lasted 11 years at the regional level. In 2011, UPN won the regional elections alone and agreed to a joint Executive with the PSN, although it lasted a sigh.
Now the suspicion is reversed. In UPN they are quite clear that the PP participated in the secret maneuver that was about to liquidate the government’s labor reform. The two UPN deputies disobeyed the direction of their party and, without notifying anyone, voted against it, when the decision of the bodies was to abstain. The No of Sayas and Adanero (of which the president of the party, Javier Esparza, found out in the middle of the vote at the same time as the rest of the Spaniards) would have knocked down one of the fundamental laws of the legislature for the Government. It would have been a very hard blow. But the error of the PP deputy Alberto Casero, one of the main collaborators of the already former general secretary, Teodoro García Egea, allowed the Minister of Labor, Yolanda Díaz, and with her the coalition Executive, to save the match.
The domino effect of that mistake by Casero now reaches the next regional elections in Navarra. The fiasco in Sayas and Adanero’s strategy led to a process of expulsion from their party. Recently, both have launched a political platform with which they are gathering support and with which they are touring the territory to present a new project.
The public success of the platform is remarkable. And the incompatibility of the two with his already exparted, insurmountable. At least for now. The PP feels like this the clothes and counts. To this he will dedicate the summer Number Three of the party, Elías Bendodo, who together with Tellado must present a complete plan of candidacies and political alliances at the return of the August holidays in the face of the momentous municipal and regional elections of 2023.
The PP must already elect the candidates in a good handful of autonomous communities and in hundreds of municipalities, with special care for the provincial capitals and large towns. The 2019 cycle was a tremendous electoral bump and, as soon as things go well, Feijóo will improve Casado’s data. But, in addition, the PP sees May as the blow that will shake the coalition government led by Pedro Sánchez and from which the opposition leader will be catapulted towards Moncloa, riding crises and conspiracies.
“Internal reflection” at UPN
Navarra, where the PSOE governs, is one of its objectives. Not so much, perhaps, to govern a region whose right wing hegemonizes UPN, and in which they have never obtained good results alone. But the playing field has changed. In Genoa they have to decide if they bet on reissuing the alliance with UPN or if, on the contrary, they give air to Sayas and Adanero’s new platform and incorporate them into their list in some way. In the leadership of the PP they maintain that their intention is to regroup the space, but at the same time they assume that, if the schism is confirmed, they will have to choose.
In addition, a new actor can join the cast of deputies: Vox. Abascal’s party did not manage to enter the Parliament of Navarra in 2019, but what can happen next year is not written. And the PP, in addition to being aware of what is happening with the PSOE, and with the UPN in this region, also looks askance at the evolution of the extreme right, which in Andalusia saw how its commitment to a vice-presidency for Macarena Olona crashed with the absolute majority of Juan Manuel Moreno.
UPN, for its part, has opened a “process of internal reflection” and it will be the militancy that decides. The resolution is expected for the return of the holidays, but its president, Javier Esparza, shows more and more doubts about his intention to give continuity to the Navarra Suma project, which the PP already considers amortized.
With Ciudadanos, UPN has also had the odd run-in. The main one occurred in March 2021, when the Arrimadas party and the PSOE agreed on the failed motion of censure in Murcia. Numerous orange positions left the formation, among them one of the three senators of Navarra Suma, Ruth Goñi. The senator did not resign from the act, which caused an internal crisis among the partners when UPN claimed the seat.
In the regionalist formation they also understand that the current political context is not the same as that of 2019, when an attempt was made to bring together the entire right-wing vote in search of an absolute majority that would allow UPN to recover the Presidency of Navarra that four years before, he had taken from them the quadripartite of Geroa Bai, EH Bildu, Podemos and Izquierda-Ezkerra under the leadership of Uxue Barkos.
But the coalition did not prevent the socialist María Chivite from accessing the Foral Palace thanks to an agreement with Geroa Bai and Podemos, and now UPN is evaluating a new strategy alone.
Sayas and Adanero, with the president of the PP of Navarra
However, Esparza has said that a meeting with Feijóo is “pending” to assess all the options. But the signals that arrive are not good for the Navarran right. The president of UPN did not like the public offer of the president of the Navarrese PP, Ana Beltrán, to the two wayward deputies either. Esparza, who sees Sayas and Adanero’s new project as an attempt to “attack” UPN, has expressed his doubts that Feijóo “wants to integrate under his acronym people who have deceived his party and all Navarrese.”
Sayas and Adanero, tempted not only by the PP, presented their platform on June 14. The previous week, Beltrán ate with them in the Congress of Deputies. He had coffee with his former boss, Teodoro García Egea, and with Alberto Casero. elDiario.es has tried, without success, to collect the version of Beltrán and García Egea.
Adanero has confirmed to this medium the meal with Beltrán, but he downplays it. “The three of us went to eat, but at no time did we talk about this issue,” he says when asked if the 2023 electoral scenario was raised. “He just asked us how our platform was going and that was the end of it. Pure courtesy,” says Adanero. The Navarrese deputy adds that both speak with Beltrán “the same as with Cuca [Gamarra, secretaria general del PP] or any other”. And he points out another appointment they kept: “Also when they saw us with Espinosa de los Monteros they asked us, but nothing.
“We talk, as we can talk to anyone. But zero of this topic. We are focused on what is ours, on the platform”, says Adanero.
Beltrán’s position at the head of the Navarrese PP hangs by a thread, in the best of cases. Secretary of Organization with Pablo Casado, she was one of the few people in the direction of the former president of the PP who remained faithful to the leader until the last moment. Her role in the party now led by Alberto Núñez Feijóo does not point to the front line. In fact, at the end of June the parliamentary group replaced her as the holder of a position in the Permanent Delegation of Congress.
In Genoa they are already looking for a replacement for him after the summer. It will be then when the autonomous congresses in Asturias, La Rioja and Cantabria, in addition to Navarra, are launched. Feijóo is only interested in the electoral results, as he himself said in a recent colloquium organized by The reason to justify that the PP has profiles apparently as different as those of Juan Manuel Moreno and Isabel Díaz Ayuso.
“We have a series of rules,” said the president of the PP. “It is very important to win. If a candidate wins, he has the endorsement. If he loses, the candidate has a problem. And the game too, ”he settled. A complete declaration of intent for the barons, whose candidacy depends exclusively on the national leadership, according to the party’s statutes.