The general secretary of the PSOE of Andalusia, Juan Espadas, will resign as mayor of Seville next Monday the 20th, despite the fact that he himself set his march on January 7, after the Christmas festivities. The legal services of the Andalusian Parliament warned him last Wednesday that the post of senator for the autonomous community is incompatible with the mayor’s office, according to regional legislation. Nobody in the PSOE or the socialist parliamentary group realized the Andalusian regulations.
Espadas was elected senator by the plenary session of Parliament last Wednesday, after completing the suitability test procedure in which all the groups endorsed him. Before appearing in the appointments committee, the legal services warned him that, to take office as senator for the community on the 21st, he had to resign before being mayor.
The law for the appointment of senators on behalf of the community stipulates this position as incompatible with that of mayor. This is so because the Electoral Law of Andalusia establishes it. The Andalusian Socialists promoted at the end of the VIII Legislature (2008-2012) to prohibit mayors, presidents of the Provincial Council and associations of municipalities from combining these positions with that of regional deputy.
The Andalusian Government, then chaired by José Antonio Griñán, proposed this reform of the Electoral Law of Andalusia without the support of the PP, the most affected by this modification. The paradox of this situation is that there are mayors who are senators, but by direct election, because in this case the governing norm (Organic Law of the General Electoral Regime) does not contemplate this case of incompatibility. In fact, the PP candidate for mayor of Seville, José Luis Sanz, has combined his position as councilor of Tomares (Seville), which he recently left, with his seat in the Upper House.
The PSOE has reported this Friday that Espadas will advance the deadlines for his resignation to take office as senator for the community on the next day 21. Espadas will resign on Monday 20 and, that same day, the plenary session of the Seville City Council will be informed of the resignation and will launch the election process of Antonio Muñoz as mayor of the capital. The idea of Espadas is that the succession runs out before the maximum period of 10 business days established by the norm, so it is possible that Muñoz will take office before the end of the year.
The Popular Party has not wasted a minute in criticizing the socialist candidate for the presidency of the Junta. “Those who do not know how to manage their own steps cannot manage the future of Andalusia”, said the general secretary of the PP, Loles López. “How does a politician who is not capable of managing his own departure from the Seville City Council, intends to put himself at the head of an autonomous community like Andalusia”, he insisted.
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From the surroundings of Espada they reduced the importance of the obvious setback of their candidate. The Swords team chosen at the regional congress held on November 6 and 7 has not yet landed at the regional headquarters in San Vicente. And since he was elected as a candidate last June and secretary general a month later, Espadas has barely combined this responsibility with that of mayor. Sources of the regional executive believe that, once the PSOE provincial congresses conclude this weekend, the party will get ready to face the regional elections next year.
George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.