Four weeks ago the mayor of San Fulgencio, Carlos Ramírez, was sentenced by the courts to the disqualification from public office for a period of 8 ½ years for administrative prevarication, irregularities in the award of municipal contracts, but he refused to leave office until such time as his appeal has been heard.
In recent days the situation has developed further with the refusal of five of his PP councillors also to resign from office insisting that he still has their full support. The councillors were told to resign earlier in the week by the Provincial Executive of the Partido Popular or face expulsion. The ERegional President of the PP, Isabel Bonig, has also been censured by the party for failing to withdraw her support.
Currently, of the 13 councillors, that now brings to six the number that are currently disbarred from office as the APUSF councillor, Mariano Martín, following his expulsion from office, seems to have lost his interest in politics altogether.
Following the last municipal election the makeup of the municipal council in San Fulgencio was PP (Including the mayor) 7 council seats, PIPN 2, PSOE 2, APUSF 1 and UPyD 1
So with 13 councillors, 7 of whom have been disqualified by either the courts or by their party, how will the municipal government operate, a question that was recently put to Samantha Hull, the President of the PIPN who currently hold two council seats?
STATEMENT FROM SAMANTHA HULL – PRESIDENT OF THE P.I.P.N
“ONCE again, the municipality of San Fulgencio has become the laughing stock of not only the Alicante province but also at a national level across Spain.
“Even before the news today that five of the six Partido Popular (PP) councillors had decided to support Mayor Carlos Ramirez – a man found guilty and barred from holding public office for eight and a half years – the situation in the town hall was one almighty mess.
This latest development has made it even more so and the only people that are suffering are the long-suffering people that live under the regime of this so-called ‘government’, who now face a period of uncertainty and, officially, nobody to run the day-to-day affairs of the town hall.
“Those five councillors, that include the until-now respected Paulino Herrero Cifuentes – councillor for the Urbanisations – have decided to put their support of a guilty man a higher priority than obeying their party’s instruction to resign their posts or face expulsion. The PIPN see it as putting their jobs and their salaries before party loyalties and before the people they were elected to represent. These people seem to have no morals whatsoever.
“But, because of the complications of municipal politics in Spain, the PIPN are uncertain, constitutionally, what happens next. With Carlos Ramirez refusing to resign – supported by his five cronies – that gives him (not the PP because none of them are or will be members anymore) six votes in a 13 seat council, although in practice it’s only 12 seats as the elected councillor for the APUSF party – Mariano Marti – is also currently barred from serving in public office.
“How can it be allowed that a municipality contains SEVEN councillors, one who has been found guilty as charged and FIVE others about to be expelled from the party that elected them, be allowed to continue in government OR opposition?
“This current and unfolding situation is yet another example of the way San Fulgencio chooses to do its politics; a situation that needs to change sooner rather than later.”