The electoral calendar for next year has emerged as a new variable in the battle in the PP for control of the party in Madrid. The possibility of an electoral advance both in Andalusia and in Castilla y León is gaining momentum and may interfere with the scheduled schedule for the celebration of the Madrid PP congress that has faced Pablo Casado and Isabel Díaz Ayuso. The governing bodies of the PP approved that uniprovincial congresses, such as the one in Madrid, will be held in the first semester of 2022, but now they plan on those dates elections in two autonomous communities, so Genoa admits that this will impact the times of the party congresses. Given this perspective, Ayuso defended this Monday that the elections should not interfere in the Madrid conclave, and insisted that it be held as soon as possible to “turn the page soon.”
The president of the Community of Madrid and, for now, the only candidate to preside over the PP of Madrid, said that the regional elections and the Madrid congress have different channels, and that is why they should not delay the conclave. “In principle it would not have one thing to do with another. I believe that they are limited to different autonomies and different bodies, that is why I believe that each one will have its own calendar ”, he reflected during the act of commemoration of the 43rd anniversary of the Constitution. Ayuso’s words, very measured because he wants to avoid being accused of adding fuel to the fire, alluded in a veiled way to the fear that his team harbors that Genoa use the excuse of the polls to delay sine die the congress of the PP in Madrid.
The national leadership recognizes that if elections are held in Andalusia and Castilla y León in the first semester, the calendar of the congresses will be delayed, because during the electoral campaign (which normally covers 15 days and three weekends) the leadership rules out holding this type of party acts. This is what the statutes of the PP say and also Pablo Casado and the rest of the members of the leadership will be overturned in the electoral process, they explain in Genoa. The question is how long the delay can be extended. The Madrid congress does not yet have a date, but the deadline approved by the national board of directors ends in June of next year.
Starting in January, the remaining multi-provincial congresses are scheduled to be held (Castilla y León, Canarias and Extremadura) and then it would be the turn of the single-province congresses, which also include La Rioja, Asturias, Cantabria and finally Madrid. In the leadership they recognize that they are obliged to comply with the rules, but they also maintain that the advancement of the elections has not been theirs and is something that “exceeds” their responsibility and alters the calendar itself. Ayuso insisted on Monday that the Madrid congress be held as soon as possible, and those around him remember that the Madrid leadership has been in a “temporary” situation since 2018, when Cristina Cifuentes resigned.
The controversy over the term of the Madrid PP congress once again revealed that the conflict is far from being solved, despite the fact that Casado and Ayuso were seen together again on Monday on the occasion of the Constitution day trying to pretend normal. The two politicians chatted briefly with the presidents of Galicia, Alberto Núñez Feijóo, and Castilla y León, Alfonso Fernández Mañueco, and they sat side by side during the event.
The climate, however, remains rarefied, as evidenced by the fact that Ayuso will not attend the next congress of the PP in Aragon, in which the leadership has reserved the leading role for the mayor of the capital, José Luis Martínez Almeida. The president travels to the Basque Country for a Basque PP Christmas dinner on Friday in Vitoria, and will extend her trip until Saturday to visit the memorial for victims of terrorism, so that she will not be able to attend the Aragonese conclave. In Zaragoza, Genoa has changed the script of the regional congresses to date and has replaced the round table of regional presidents with one of mayors that Almeida will moderate. In addition, the mayor of Zaragoza, Jorge Azcón, will assume control of the party in Aragon, creating a precedent for other councilors to seize regional power. Many in the PP see this movement as a warning to sailors for the PP congress in Madrid, in which Genoa has considered encouraging Almeida to compete against Ayuso. However, the Madrid president has decided to leave the seat empty at that congress.
The internal crisis also keeps on the air the Christmas dinner of the PP in Madrid, although officially the doubts have to do with the evolution of the pandemic. Sources from the leadership of the Madrid PP acknowledge that it has not yet been decided whether the party will be held, because it usually brings together a thousand guests and the increase in infections may advise against it, although the Community of Madrid has not approved new restrictions at the moment.
George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.