Sun. Dec 5th, 2021




Pablo Casado has asked for time this week, while the fronts of internal tension multiply. The leader of the Popular Party he remains imperturbable, sure that the course undertaken is the correct one to consolidate his alternative of Government from the centrality, but the critical voices are heard more and more and more clearly. The main opposition party is going through a moment of political weakness that is not the best for the territorial renewal that it has undertaken in the provincial congresses. Matches the Catalan elections fiasco, which has raised many doubts within the PP, while the break with the past has been received with great suspicion by prominent sectors of the party. To all this is added a terrible relationship with Vox, highly criticized by the old guard, which starred in the victory of 96 with a united and strong center-right.

The political convention scheduled for autumn is intended to promote a project that some in the PP see “undefined.” Parliamentary sources consulted by ABC believe that this is Casado’s main problem at the moment: his project, they warn, is not recognizable, is confusing or is not well understood. Everything else, including gap open with Vox, internal disputes with autonomous barons or the growing skepticism of historical leaders of the PP towards Casado’s strategy, are effects that qualify as “collateral”. There are those who also see “tactical errors”, such as those committed in the Catalan campaign. At the moment the open fronts are swells, where Casado’s leadership has not been questioned. But the background noise is there, a kind of growing unease within the party, and far from subsiding, the storm could get worse.

Provincial Congresses

The PP is immersed in a process of territorial renewal that has started at the bottom, with the provincial congresses, and not with the regional ones, which has dislodged some barons, who see how they can lose influence in the structure of their party, in favor of Genoa. The interest of the national leadership is not hidden: it intends to implement and reinforce the Casado project throughout Spain, with the provinces aligned in the same strategy, without critical voices. The boss of the whole strategy is the general secretary, Teodoro Garcia Egea, who is weaving a powerful network of territorial alliances.

So far, all the congresses that have been held have had a single candidate, chosen by consensus between Genoa and the regional leadership. This weekend another four will be held, in Granada, Malaga, Ibiza and Menorca-Formentera.

The one in Valladolid has been postponed until March 27, and that of Avila will be on the 20th. There will also be consensus candidacies. Where the unity between the national PP and the regional baron will be tested, Alfonso Fernandez ManuecoIt will be in cities like Salamanca or León. The relationship between both parties is complicated, especially between the regional president and the general secretary of the PP, Teodoro García Egea, but Mañueco knows that he has the full support of Casado. “Mañueco has the support of Genoa, where he is questioned is in Castilla y León for some decisions he has made during the pandemic, many mayors view his management with concern,” warn national sources.

In Andalusia, the clash has become visible before the Seville congress, where two candidacies will be presented: the current president, Virginia Pérez, who has the backing of the national leadership, will dispute her position with Juan Ávila, endorsed by the regional leadership. There, understanding was not possible, something that Genoa wants to “de-dramatize.”

The national leadership made a call at the beginning of the congressional process to ask for internal unity at all levels and to avoid personal wars between candidates.

Losers of the primaries

From the national leadership they believe they see the hand of the old “sorayismo” in the tensions of the provincial congresses of Andalusia and Castilla y León. In the Andalusian case, they specify, it is not so much about Juanma Moreno placeholder image, who expressly supported Sáenz de Santamaría in the PP primaries, but from intermediate positions that surround him and who “have not assumed they were defeated” in the national congress in the summer of 2018.

From Genoa, they suspect that they see an opportunity in the provincial congresses to try to recover their ground, and they try to take advantage of the moment of weakness that the national leadership is going through to become stronger. From September the regional congresses will be held, and in 2022 the national congress will be played.

Crisis in the Catalan PP

The electoral disaster in the Catalan elections it has exposed a deep crisis in the Popular Party in Catalonia. “It’s like a club of friends,” they lament from the national leadership, where the candidate’s campaign has been harshly criticized Alejandro Fernandez and the lack of a powerful organic structure.

Genoa wants to have a decisive influence in strengthening the party and will start with the post of general secretary, vacant since the resignation in January of Daniel Serrano. Within the PP, the Casado campaign in Catalonia has also been criticized, where he surprised by distancing himself from the management of Rajoy and Santamaría before the illegal referendum of 1-O.

The difficult relationship with Vox

The first electoral examination after the abrupt break with Vox ended up on hold for the PP. Historical leaders like Hope Aguirre The Jaime Mayor Oreja they warned of the error of blowing up the bridges with a party that is necessary for the unity of the center-right. The “sorpasso” of Vox in Catalonia reinforced them in their criticism of a strategy that they consider “failed”.

Other veteran leaders warned of the need to rebuild relations with Santiago Abascal. Married, however, he has made it clear that he will not change the course he has taken one millimeter and will not approach extremist positions in any case.

The break with the past

In the first National Executive Committee after the Catalan elections, Casado announced that the PP was leaving the headquarters of Genoa, 13. It was a symbolic gesture to make official the break with the past of Aznar and Rajoy, and with the corruption cases of that time that continue to weigh like a slab in the current PP. But the ‘old glories’, as they are called in the PP, revolted and harshly criticized that the national leadership wanted to turn its back on the history of the popular. Former PP ministers showed their discomfort and concern about the ‘drift’ of the party.

Changes in direction

“Pablo is obliged to renew his team.” This comment is spreading in various sectors of the party. In the internal debate that flows in the PP it is argued that “political” incorporations in the national leadership and bets are even made on when they might happen: in the summer, before the fall political convention. The sources consulted by ABC suggest that the PP president will make the decision together with García Egea, whom they consider “untouchable” within the party’s structure.

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