Orihuela politics was turned on its head on Friday when Ciudadanos leader, José Aix, said that he is open to negotiations with the PSOE and Cambiemos, over the formation of the new Municipal Government.
Until the announcement, standing mayor Emilio Bascuñana, was confidently predicting that, despite all the vitriol between the two parties in recent weeks, he would once again be leading the new council in coalition with the C’s.
But now José Aix, who, with his 5 council seats, is calling all the shots, says that he is quite prepared to enter into negotiations toward forming a possible 3 party government with PSOE and Cambiemos, which will finally oust the PP leader, Emilio Bascuñana, as mayor.
However, the one major disagreement that stands in the way, is the appointment of José Aix as mayor. The man who made the first move, Carlos Bernabé, leader of the tripartite formed by Cambiemos, Claro and Unidas Podemos, is to appoint the Carolina Grace, PSOE, as leader of the coalition, which is something that does not fit in with the plans of C’s that, according to sources, will only enter into any negotiations if the Mayor’s Office is promised to José Aix.
The PSOE, meanwhile, are keeping quiet, as they are still believed to be discussing internally their proposals with regard to possible future pacts.
But Cambiemos, and Carlos Bernabé, said that they see this agreement with PSOE and Cs as being absolutely necessary for the three parties although “we all know that there are massive ideological differences between the three.” The objective, according to Bernabé, is absolutely clear, that Orihuela “does not suffer a mayor who is still involved in a scandal regarding his previous employment, who is arrogant beyond belief, and who leads a party in which the internal divisions in the PP are still clear for all to see, so much so that on electoral night there was a clear split between the followers of the current mayor and the party number 3 and PP President, Dámaso Aparicio and his followers, with the two groups choosing to follow the results in different locations. Aparicio was in the PP headquarters in the Plaza Nueva, while Bascuñana and his followers were 250 meters, in his office on la avenida de España.
Between the three parties they would provide 14 councillors, one above the necessary majority, with 5 from the Cs, the 6 of PSOE and the 3 of Cambiemos-Claro: UP. But as Bernabé submitted in his approach, how likely would it be that the three parties could unite in committing to the values, solidarity and institutions of the municipality and for the good of the whole community.
When we start to talk about good governance, especially over a period of four years, it is important to ask how they will be able to create an ideology embraced by all three parties in order to pursue the best interest of our society and economy with commitment and in solidarity. This would be easier said than done, especially in such a diversely organised coalition as the one that is being muted.