Ciudadanos loses half of its active members in one year | Spain


Door of the headquarters of the Citizens party in Madrid, this Tuesday, during the scrutiny of the Andalusian primaries.
Door of the headquarters of the Citizens party in Madrid, this Tuesday, during the scrutiny of the Andalusian primaries.Andrea Comas placeholder image

The numbers confirm the depth of the internal crisis of Ciudadanos. The budget prepared by the formation of Inés Arrimadas for 2022, to which EL PAÍS has had access, indicates that the party has lost 47.65% of the income it receives from the payment of membership fees in one year (from 10 euros per month). While in 2021 the total amount was 2,162,000 euros, in 2022 it will be 1,131,707. The Cs Finance Secretariat sets up the training accounts at the end of each year. Afterwards, the budgets have to be ratified by the General Council —the highest body between Assemblies—, so that they come into force at the beginning of the following fiscal year. This Friday, precisely, the General Council meets to approve the accounts for next year.

The party has been immersed in anxiety since the general elections of November 2019, in which it took one of the greatest punishments at the democracy ballot box, falling from 52 deputies to 10. The problems worsened after the failed motion of censure from Murcia last March. Since then, the party has suffered an incessant trickle of declines from public office, and polls chain vote estimates downward.

Except for last minute surprises, sources from Ciudadanos explain that the budget will have the approval of the around 130 councilors. The accounts, drawn up on the current economic data of the party, confirm the collapse of active members, that is, the militants up to date with the payment of their fees. Only militants up to date with their financial obligations with the training can exercise as full members, which allows them to vote or appear in primaries. In addition, affiliates who have not paid for six months are directly expelled.

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Taking into account that each affiliate pays 10 euros per month (except for exceptions, such as students, or those who decide to pay more), an approximate number of members can be drawn. At the end of 2020, Cs would have about 18,000 members with the current payment and, now, according to this estimate, they would not reach 10,000.

The exact number of affiliates remains a mystery that the party leadership refuses to reveal. In fact, one of its advisers repeatedly asked the organization at the last General Council – on October 22 – that information. And he asked to know how many militants had their financial obligations in order. The national leadership refused to give the figure and referred him to the website of Cs. In the online portal the number that appears is 17,000 affiliates. A data that has not been updated for months. Since March dozens of regional councilors and deputies have left the party. “We cannot deny that we are losing affiliates”, admit sources of Cs.

“This is a continuous bleeding. The budget confirms that the number of affiliates was much lower than that of the web for months ”, says a member of the General Council. The accounts also reveal that the party has stopped receiving other types of income. Among them, the percentage that the organic and institutional positions of their salary have to cede to the organization. In this case, the difference is 22.62%. In 2021 the amount corresponding to these fees was 790,800 euros, while in 2022 it will be 611,946. The decrease is due both to the loss of positions that Citizens have left – but who keep the record – as well as to the debts of those who, even though they are positions, refuse to give up this percentage of their salary. As an example, that of the regional deputy Fran Carrillo. Thanks to the recent Andalusian primaries, his candidacy revealed that he had stopped paying just over 4,000 euros.

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The Andalusian Citizens’ primaries held this Monday and Tuesday confirm the downward trend of the party in the number of affiliates up to date. In fact, while this Saturday the party affirmed that 2,589 Andalusian affiliates had the right to vote – about a thousand less than in the 2018 primaries -, finally the number was 2,264. A difference that is due to the number of militants who did not have their financial obligations in order. In an autonomous community of more than eight million inhabitants, Juan Marín was elected as a candidate for the Board elections scheduled for 2022 with only 823 votes. And the second candidate with the highest number of supporters, Fran Carrillo, with just 454. The least voted candidates, those of Paula María López Moreno and Rosario Ortega Carreño, obtained only two votes each.


elpais.com

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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