The Popular Party surrendered yesterday to Isabel Diaz Ayuso in Valencia. This is Pablo Casado’s convention, yes, but who has marked the times, who has managed the internal tension at will and who has released the bombshell of the week, the great headline, has been her. And he has done it when he wanted, with a scenography that honored the Palace of the Arts in Valencia, where the convention was held. In his turn to speak, he personally addressed the president of his party and dismissed himself in the face of an alleged competition with him for national leadership: “I am clear that my place is Madrid.” And the convention fell apart, with a thunderous applause.
The secretary general was later asked, Teodoro Garcia EgeaIf there was relief in Genoa after Ayuso’s announcement. With some humor, Casado’s number two assured that the general secretary “can never” be relieved: “When there is not one, it is another,” he commented in an informal talk with the press.
Yesterday was the day of the Madrid president and in Genoa they had assumed it for a long time, when it was learned that Ayuso would be traveling in the United States all week and could only arrive on Saturday, to participate in a table with the rest of the barons to talk about your management. The organization previously set up another panel with mayors, including José Luis Martínez-Almeida, and at the last minute an intervention by the general secretary of the PP, Teodoro García Egea, “slipped in” to shake the public, praise Pablo Casado’s career and warn that “without a party there is no government” possible. But all that did not matter, the expectation was outside, waiting for Ayuso to arrive, who did it two and a half hours after the working day began. His walk to the entrance of the Palace was a swarm of journalists looking for a statement, and also of PP militants who applauded Ayuso with shouts of “president, president.” Along this path, Ayuso clarified that he was arriving at the convention in peace, with a message of unity.
«His best version»
In Genoa they recognized that it was Ayuso’s day, true, but it could have been in many ways, and it was “in its best version, with a message of unity and support for Pablo Casado’s project,” they argued.
Inside the auditorium, the Madrid president listened to García Egea’s speech with apparent indifference, as seen in the images. The general secretary of the PP has not concealed in recent weeks his discrepancy with Ayuso’s movement at the end of August, when he announced his candidacy to preside over the party in Madrid, despite the fact that the congress has not even been convened. That step overshadowed the married convention, and the unrest in Genoa led to an internal war that only subsided last week, in order to close ranks around the party leader.
Ayuso verified how García Egea provoked an ovation for Juanma Moreno and another for Alberto Núñez Feijóo, and for her, nothing. But it was time to talk about 4-M, and on the screen appeared the cover of ABC with his victory at the polls. Then came a spontaneous applause and everyone cheered for the winner, who stood up to thank her. García Egea praised right after the triumph of the PP in Madrid, but included Casado in the winning tandem, with Ayuso.
At the table of the regional presidents, Ayuso was one of Feijóo, Mañueco, Moreno, López Miras and even the president of Ceuta, Juan Jesús Vivas, whom Genoa wants to treat as the sixth baron. The messages from the rest of the regional presidents were interesting and intense, but then it was Ayuso’s turn. He dedicated his first minutes to defend his model of Government. He warned that May 4 generated a wave of illusion that the PP, he stressed, should take advantage of.
It was at that moment that he announced that there was one thing he wanted to make clear there. There was silence and the tension rose several levels. He referred to the debate that has been going around since he transferred his intention to take a step forward in the PP in Madrid. “But that’s the least of it,” he warned.
He then recalled that 16 years ago, Pablo Casado stepped forward to preside over what became a true school of values, New Generations of Madrid: «He trusted me, and I did not hesitate to be with him». “And later,” he continued, “he did the same in front of the party spokesperson, he did it brilliantly and he trusted me again. And then he took a step to renew the PP, and I did not hesitate. He trusted me and gave me the greatest opportunity of my entire life, which is to preside over the Community of Madrid, which is my political goal, “he said. “Today I want to tell you, Pablo, in front of your wife, the party, your family, the media, I want to make it clear to you that I am perfectly clear where my place is, which is Madrid,” he said.
Ayuso promised that he will do his best to Madrid, “Because Madrid is Spain.” “We need you to become the Prime Minister,” he said. The entire audience stood up to applaud Ayuso, who ended with another resounding phrase: “My project is yours.”
The president of the Community of Madrid thus cleared up any doubts about her alleged intention to apply for the national leadership of the PP. It was a clarification that she saw necessary to make. Of course, it was also clear that her determination to be president of the Madrid PP remains firm, something that Genoa did not want to comment on later.
Casado had achieved his goal of making the national convention an exhibition of closing the ranks and unity around his project, as the only alternative to Sánchez. From the first hour, the Palace of the Arts was a parade of PP leaders showing support for Casado. The first was the mayor of Madrid, José Luis Martínez-Almeida, who placed Ayuso as a “great asset” of the PP, but without the ability to overshadow, he said, Casado. Almeida got his own standing ovation when he intervened at the mayors’ table. It was the biggest applause of the day, and surpassed even those obtained by Ayuso. At lunchtime, he sat at the same table as Casado and García Egea with the regional barons. The meal took place in an atmosphere of celebration and unity, according to sources who were there.
Upon arrival, the President of Castilla y León, Alfonso Fernandez ManuecoHe also stressed that Casado is the president that Spain needs “now.” The president of the Xunta de Galicia, Alberto Núñez FeijóoHe stated that all the regional presidents were there to add and support Casado: “The PP is a loyal party, not elbowing.” In addition, the president of the Junta de Andalucía, Juanma MorenoHe assured that “this party is united.” “The regional presidents come to pitch in with the common goal of changing the government,” he explained.