Little room for maneuver was found on Monday by those who wanted a refoundation of Ciudadanos that would also imply a change of directive. The president of the party, Inés Arrimadas, raised two options during the extended Executive meeting that was held in the morning: resignation of the leadership en bloc or accept a renewal plan that had been defined the previous afternoon. “It was a lockdown. A flight forward”, says one of those attending the conclave. The second of the options prevailed unanimously. But after a tense previous debate.
The meeting began around 11:30 with the intervention of Arrimadas, who presented his roadmap in broad strokes. An attack plan with a six-month calendar in which a political team coordinated by the deputy mayor of Madrid, Begoña Villacís, together with a commission made up of twenty technicians, will have to pilot the “catharsis” of Ciudadanos. Villacís, who the previous afternoon had been meeting for four hours with Arrimadas, stressed in the debate that she was very happy and excited about the plan. An enthusiasm that he reiterated, this Tuesday, at a press conference: “The refoundation project has to do with questioning the status quo, which is what a liberal party in Spain has to do, and with defending things that are being left undefended. . Giving the ideological battle seduces me a lot”.
The plan has reportedly been weeks in the making, but is subject to a confidentiality agreement. The rest of the members of the executive have not been able to find out what is going to be done. During Monday’s meeting, several leaders complained about the lack of specificity. Among them, the vice president of the Cabildo de Tenerife, Enrique Arriaga; the spokesman in Parliament, Carlos Carrizosa; the secretary of Organization, Borja González, the former spokesman in the Madrid Assembly César Zafra or the Asturian deputy Félix Álvarez. Both Villacís and Arrimadas took cover behind the confidentiality agreement. “There is nothing, it is smoke. It seems that they have some kind of pact between them, ”add other sources.
The lack of transparency made these leaders demand that Arrimadas be informed gradually of the steps that are being taken, with a periodicity of between 15 days to a month. “We cannot return to our territories without anything to tell the affiliates,” says a senior official. Arrimadas promised to “report” the steps that are being taken, but without setting a specific agenda.
The vice president of the Cabildo of Tenerife affirms: “It was not the time to ask for internal resignations because a plan must be put in place. Now, we will have to see if this refoundation plan responds to what we really need”. Arriaga explains that nobody asked for the head of the board at the end. Several members consulted agree that “opening up the channel” at this time meant rushing the deadlines too much before the municipal and regional elections next year. In any case, if Arrimadas has conditioned directing the refoundation plan while the directive is endorsed by the bases in the future. This is how it was ensured this Monday to keep the reins for the moment, but the party will have to convene some kind of general assembly before the appointment at the polls. “Everything will blow up there. A true refoundation requires resignations, not changes of name or color”, they warn from the formation.
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The meeting on Monday afternoon, with around 125 directors, already started with the unanimous endorsement that the extended executive had given to Arrimadas in the morning, which caused the critical voices to go out. “When they have already given a press conference and they put the plan on the table, you don’t want to hurt the party: we shit ourselves”, admits a counselor. “In addition, we had not seen each other in person for many two years. Some of us didn’t even know each other. Thus it is very difficult to propose alternative majorities. And no one steps forward as a substitute for Arrimadas”. In the middle of the general council, Villacís went to receive the mayor of kyiv, who was visiting Madrid, although he was expected to return if the meeting dragged on. Something that was expected, but that ultimately did not materialize.
In September, mayors of Ciudadanos such as the councilor of Ciudad Real, Eva Masías —who is part of the political team leading the refoundation—, will be designated as candidates for the municipal elections. “That’s how you subject those people a lot,” say the same sources. The strategy is that these candidates transfer the message of the refoundation pulling their own strength as mayors, instead of being the brand that pulls them.
“We have a firm commitment to promote the liberal space to reconnect with the Spanish”, stressed this Tuesday the spokesman for Cs in Congress, Edmundo Bal, who acknowledged that in the general council there were a dozen interventions with “constructive proposals” . Fear of leaks even made it a point to requisition the phones. Among those who took the floor, the councilor and member of the board of the council, Sofía Miranda, also asked Arrimadas to specify the refoundation plan in more detail. The president of Ciudadanos, in addition to excusing herself in the confidentiality agreement, ended up saying that, being a plan open to the participation of the militancy, it still had a lot to define.
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