PIOC Press Release
Orihuela Costa’s population is increasing by approximately 700 people per year whereas the city of Orihuela is decreasing by 200 per year, thus the coast will very soon be equal in population – Moreover, the number of twenty five councillors sitting on the Orihuela Council only one has represented the coast and only then for two years in 2011 !
He had the impossible task of attempting to advocate for a third of the entire population of the whole Orihuela Municipality. Not only did this one individual represent an area that rightfully should return at least 8 Councillors he also had the further disadvantage of being the only English person sitting on the council. Many of the points he legitimately tried to make for the good of the whole population on the coast got sidelined as only being of interest to the Expat British population.
This individual was in an impossible situation. When there was only one lone voice attempting to advocate for a population of 33,227 people at the time, 2011, the Spanish majority of Councillors could effectively disregard this individual, which they regularly did.
The effects were that the whole population of the coast continued to be discriminated against, essential services were denied them and all sectors of the Orihuela Costa community suffered, in spite of the coast being the major contributor to the revenue of the Orihuela Municipality.
10 years later, nothing has changed. The coast can represent itself if enough people vote, next time they can vote in May 2023 for Independence.
Spain operates a system of proportional representation. This means that in order to return a Councillor a certain percentage of the votes must be cast. The votes cast from Orihuela Costa in the last local elections, 2019, was not sufficient to return one Councillor even though the local party joined forces with Cambiemos who gained 3 Councillors! They had their own agenda, resulting nothing for the coast again.
There is general apathy amongst the International community when it comes to voting in Spanish Local Elections. Many residents with the entitlement to vote fail to ensure that their name is actually entered on the list of electors and many of those individuals whose name is on the list of electors do not exercise their right to vote on Election Day. The effects of this for the residents of Orihuela Costa is that instead of returning a third of the Councillors sitting on Orihuela Council we have only ever returned one and this individual had only been in his post for 2 years, therefore, was not able to make an impact for the residents living on the coast.
The lack of appropriate representation from the coast resulted in Orihuela Costa suffering blatant discrimination and has resulted in the area having the poorest level of services of any area within the Orihuela Municipality.
This situation can so easily change if more residents from the international community actually make the effort to vote. All you have to do is ask at the Padron office in your Town Hall if you have exercised your right to vote on your Padron registration, it is a tick in a box that is needed for your right to vote, then you can vote for Independence.
Unlike the system in the UK you do not vote for an individual to represent your ward. Proportional representation means that each political party has a list of candidates that are prioritised by their political party, hence you vote for a party not for an individual.
Who gains access to this list is left to the political parties concerned. As the main political parties in Orihuela have no presence on Orihuela Costa, e.g. no offices, no political meetings, no constituent surgeries etc. is it any wonder that the lists of candidates offered by these parties have no body on them that actually come from the coast ?
Orihuela Costa must ensure that they return a sufficient number of Councillors who will actually advocate for services and resources for the coast. All residents with the right to vote must ensure that their voice is heard and that they contribute to ending the blatant discrimination suffered by all Orihuela Costa residents.
YOU MUST DECLARE YOUR INTENTION TO VOTE !
At the Town Hall Padron Office.