The president of the Junta de Andalucía and leader of the PP in that community, Juan Manuel Moreno, has claimed the role that the internal wars in his party and the leaks of the conversations of his vice president Juan Marín, from Ciudadanos, had taken from him on the eve and in a good part of the regional congress in which he has been re-elected as president of the popular Andalusians. Moreno has called for unity in the ranks of his formation to end the confrontation between Genoa and the president of the Community of Madrid, Isabel Díaz Ayuso, on leadership in that territory. In an Andalusian key, he has urged his own to strengthen the popular project to make it the first force in a key community for national electoral purposes.
“Let us stop sterile entanglements and focus on changing the terrible government of Pedro Sánchez, that is the true objective”, claimed Moreno, who has emphasized that the PP “has come very far”, when it has been united and “does not know it has distracted in internal matters that neither the citizens understand nor care ”. One of the recipients of that message, the general secretary of the PP, Teodoro García Egea, present in the plenary session for practically the entire day on Saturday, was precisely absent from the room – due to a telephone call, popular sources indicate – when the president of the Andalusian PP claimed the importance of internal unity.
The leadership of the Andalusian PP has not hidden its deep discomfort over the fact that the Andalusian congress has become a boxing ring between Ayuso and the national leadership, using Moreno as sparring. “Andalusia cannot be used as a combat territory”, assured a high popular position after the intervention of Egea, this morning. García Egea responded directly to the recommendation that Ayuso had made to the Andalusian president the day before to maintain his autonomy and call elections whenever he wanted without becoming “anyone’s puppet.” “Juanma, you are and have always been a free person, who has put Andalusia above the interests of the party. No one has to come to tell you what to do, “replied the Secretary General this Saturday. Moreno has been blunt: “This is a congress from Andalusia to Andalusia and all my efforts will be guided by the interest of Andalusians. I don’t care about anything else ”, he added.
Although within the Andalusian PP they knew that Ayuso’s intervention on the first day of the congress would not go unnoticed, several of its members consulted agree that it was a lack of decorum to want to fuel their personal struggle with the national leadership outside their own community. “It is a noise that hurts us and that angers our militants and the rest of the voters of the PP that what they really want to know is how the policies we develop are going to affect them on a day-to-day basis,” acknowledged a member of the Andalusian government.
Moreno himself was very clear a week ago in Puerto Llano (Ciudad Real) when he asked for a single list in the PP in Madrid to avoid the wear that the conflict could cause in the rest of the party. The conflict, far from abating, has not only reached its own congress alive, but has also been spurred on account of the leakage of Marín’s statements and his express pointing to Genoa as the main interested in an electoral advance in Andalusia.
On paper, this was to be the congress in which it was going to be held that for the first time in 37 years a non-socialist government had come to power in Andalusia and that Moreno’s management in the midst of a pandemic had managed to prop up the PP in surveys, after three years of stability. The transfer of the internal battle that Ayuso is waging with the leadership of the PP has muted what should be the electoral shuttle for the leader of the Andalusian PP.
Moreno has sought to reverse that inertia and in congress he has set himself the challenge of “turning the PP into the party with the majority in this land.” The president of the Andalusian popular wants to expand the electoral base, transforming it into a “transversal party with clear ideas, but without absolute truths.” The popular leader has demanded to flee from “bloc politics” and “radicalisms that only lead to isolation.” “Only being moderate leads to majorities,” he stated in a statement of intent.
PSOE main fishing ground for votes
Andalusia is not just any territory. It is the most populated autonomous community and has traditionally been the main voting ground for the PSOE, key to its triumph at the national level. To the emotional collapse that Andalusian socialism supposed to have lost for the first time in the history of democracy the Junta de Andalucía with its worst electoral result (33 seats), now adds the arithmetic certainty offered by the polls that the PP is also the most voted formation, a projection that Moreno takes into account because he is aware that in the Andalusian elections his party also obtained the fewest number of seats (26) in its history. The Andalusian president and his team are well aware that the polarization in their party hurts them in their task of presenting the Andalusian PP as a moderate party that can attract the disenchanted socialist voter and win that electoral base necessary to reverse the inertia held by the sociological studies that affirm that Andalusia is of the center-left.
Although in the leadership of the PP it did not sit well that Ayuso used Andalusia as the loudspeaker of his fight with the president of his party, Pablo Casado, his speech on Friday in which he launched Genoa against San Telmo – seat of the Junta – was understood, According to several attendees of the PP congress, several attendees of the PP congress reported to EL PAÍS, such as the verbalization of the malaise about the way to exercise power and to impose charges in the territories by the national leadership. A malaise that the popular Andalusians publicly manifested last March on the occasion of the provincial congress of the PP in Seville where the clash between Genoa – which imposed its candidate, Virginia Pérez – and the popular Andalusians reached the point where Moreno stood up to García Egea at the closing ceremony to demonstrate this discrepancy.
“We do not understand the obsession to attack the first non-socialist government of Andalusia,” said leaders of the regional PP. Nine months later they acknowledge that, after the crisis caused by the Marín leaks – which they consider deactivated after the unusual interview between the vice president and the spokesperson of the Board, Elías Bendodo, in the opening session, this Friday – and fueled by Ayuso, They have managed to attract unconditional support, at least publicly, from the national leadership for Moreno’s PP.
George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.