Although the president of the Junta de Castilla y León, Alfonso Fernández Mañueco continues to bet in public to exhaust the legislature and reach 2023, the party’s machinery has already been activated in an electoral key, and sources close to the Castilian president from León recognize the SER that the option of holding early elections is becoming stronger than ever.
March 10 is the legal deadline to present a new motion of censure in the Cortes, after which the Socialists unsuccessfully promoted eight months ago. That motion did not succeed in taking the government away from the PP, but it did make it lose the parliamentary majority. Now the PSOE would only need a desertion in the ranks of Ciudadanos and the votes of two attorneys from the provincial parties of Ávila and León. In this way, to try to conjure a new motion, Mañueco should dissolve the Cortes before March 10 and put the ballot boxes at the latest in May.
However, the president of the Board rules out making his electoral appointment coincide with that of Andalusia. And not only because Moreno Bonilla has placed his elections at the earliest in June but because the party does not consider it tactical to make them coincide. “Celebrating them on the same date does not contribute anything. Perhaps to other communities yes, but not to us” assure sources at the highest level in the Board. “It would not produce any synergy and it would force to distribute efforts” indicates an important popular leader.
From Genoa they have left both barons free to press the electoral button at the time they consider, but they bless the double appointment in 2022 aware that two consecutive good results would reinforce Pablo Casado in a national key
Mañueco has the polls in favor, even touching the absolute majority: the latest polls published place him close to recovering the result achieved by Juan Vicente Herrera’s PP in 2011.
The operation, however, is not without risks. The greatest fear in the popular ranks is in the mobilization of an electorate used to uniting the autonomous ballot with the municipal one. Separating the appointment from the municipal elections scheduled for May 2023, means losing the advantage of the great implementation of the PP at the local level.
The key element in Mañueco’s decision, as in the case of the Andalusian president, Moreno Bonilla, will be the public accounts. The second budgets of the PP-Citizens Government that, if not approved on December 23, could be the spark that activates the call for early elections, giving Mañueco a “salable” justification before his electorate, a “story.”
The PP is in full budget negotiations with the group “Por Ávila” but as recognized by a prominent popular deputy “in reality there are no great incentives to move them forward.”
At the meeting of the Regional Board of Directors of the PP of Castilla y León that was held last Tuesday in Valladolid, Mañueco asked his people to “put the batteries” in a speech that many of those present interpreted in a clearly electoral key, and where he explained the “objectives met by the Government” and considered achieved “90% of the electoral program.”
Many deputies, senators and attorneys are already speaking openly of “campaign environment” and “exhausted legislature.” In the Upper House, the slogan for several weeks now is that the Castilian-Leon senators focus their initiatives on matters particularly close to the territory. “And so we are doing,” they say.
In this context, the Popular Party will hold the regional congress of the PP of Castilla y León on the weekend of January 16, which will re-elect Alfonso Fernández Mañueco as party president.
George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.