If you scroll down this page you will come across my blog of a week ago on the tragedy and intrigue in San Roque after the sudden death of the mayor, socialist José Vázquez.
Well ten days after he was laid to rest the council met to elect a new mayor. It was a day of drama that saw the centre right Partido Popular take back power. The PP’s Fernando Palma was the most voted for candidate in the 2007 local elections so perhaps there was a sense of justice in that he regained control of the municipality as mayor.
Palma was ousted in 2003 after the local party, the USR, joined in coalition with PSOE and then renewed the agreement after the 2007 elections. He had been mayor between 1999 and 2003 when he took control after a vote of no confidence in José Vazquez.
If Palma and the PP are winners then the socialists are heavy losers. Not only has PSOE lost power but the party is left bitterly divided.
Regina Cuenca was the second candidate on the PSOE list at the last elections and by right could have stood as mayor. However she declined leaving the way open for Juan Carlos Ruiz Boix, the socialist spokesperson on the council.
As I explained in my last blog Ruiz Boix had been sacked by José Vázquez and stripped of all his portfolios. This opened up major rifts in the local socialist party. As a result when it came to the mayoral election socialist Rosa Macías, a supported of Vázquez, abstained and will now probably be expelled from the party.
The USR under José Antonio Ledesma also broke ranks with the socialists and failed to back Ruiz Boix for the top post. This was certainly payback time as the Ruiz Boix faction in PSOE wanted him to act as mayor during Vázquez’s absences in receiving cancer treatment and not Ledesma.
The Partido Popular can now govern in its own right or seek a coalition with the USR, PSOE or other parties. If as expected Rosa Macías is expelled from PSOE for not backing Ruiz Boix then she can throw her support behind the PP.
For the politically uncommitted it is a wonderful example of politicians at work doing what they do best – scheming and plotting. If there is life after death then I am sure José Vázquez is sitting on a cloud somewhere having a good old chuckle as he sees his socialist foe Ruiz Box denied the very post he lusted after – mayor of San Roque.