The mayor of Granada, Luis Salvador, announced his resignation this Thursday and that he will support the most voted list, that is, the PSOE, to give stability to the government of this Andalusian provincial capital. The candidacy led by the socialist Francisco Cuenca won 10 of the 27 councilors in the May 2019 elections. Salvador assures that he has not signed any pact with the socialists or with anyone else. The recently resigned mayor of Ciudadanos has explained that, from the moment in which the PP councilors left the Government team, they abandoned their commitment, and that, therefore, he must support whoever generates stability or does not make as much noise as has done in the first two years of the legislature. Salvador has submitted his voluntary resignation this Thursday morning at the Granada City Council and, after a plenary session that will take place tomorrow, the new election must take place within a maximum period of ten days. In that plenary session, the PSOE will present its candidate, Francisco Cuenca. The PP has announced that it will also do the same, although it has not yet given a name.
After this resignation, Ciudadanos loses the city council of the largest city of those achieved in this legislature. When the full investiture of the next councilor is held, whoever achieves the majority will have the command. If not reached, the one representing the most voted list. That of the PSOE – with 10 councilors – would get the position. Salvador has not gone into details of whether he will effectively vote for the PSOE or abstain if the accounts for the Socialists leave without his vote and that of the only councilor who follows him, José Antonio Huertas. The IU-UP-Adelante spokesperson, Antonio Cambril, has confirmed that his three votes will go to the PSOE as the most voted list.
From Seville, the coordinator of Cs Andalucía and vice president of the Board, Juan Marín, has denied that the two councilors of Ciudadanos are going to support the socialist Cuenca as mayor, reports Lourdes Lucio. “We are not going to support the PSOE candidate, we have it clear, because he is charged.” Marín has reported that until yesterday they maintained, without success, contacts with the councilors of the PP so that José Antonio Huertas would replace Luis Salvador. The Andalusian vice president has denied that the municipal crisis in Granada affects the coalition of PP and Citizens in the Andalusian Government. “It does not affect at all,” he said, although he acknowledged that it does perhaps cause an “uncomfortable” situation in the daily management of the Board. Marín has not hesitated to point out Fran Hervías, former secretary of the Cs Organization and now a member of the PP with an office in Genoa, as the promoter of the destabilization of local governments. “Since all this began, this man is there and he continues to try to do harm.”
Councilor Raquel Ruz, of the socialist group, assures that her group has spoken with the rest of the municipal formations, but that, to date, they have not reached agreements with any of them.
The disagreements in the mayor’s office of Granada between PP and Cs began on the same July 15, 2019, the day of the inauguration of Luis Salvador as Granada’s first mayor. Before the vote, a pact was taken for granted by which PP and Cs would take turns in the local government in the middle of the legislature. This pact, verbal and never signed on paper, was confirmed that morning by PP councilors who had witnessed it. Salvador and his three councilors, on the other hand, forgot that as soon as they took office. It was, really, a security deal at the local level to ensure the votes of the PP to Cs, actually bound by another agreement made in Madrid in which the PP and Ciudadanos shared different spheres of power in Spain. The local actors met hours before the inauguration and reinforced the national decision with their local government agreement spread over two-year periods. It was Salvador’s way of ensuring the vote of the PP in that election and of the popular ones to guarantee that two years later they could govern. Minutes after the inauguration, sources from Ciudadanos denied to this newspaper the existence of that pact. Since then and until a few weeks ago, the PP has also denied it.
Salvador appointed the government team and, little by little, Sebastián Pérez, number one in the PP mayoral candidacy, felt cornered, both by his party and by the mayor. Already then he sensed that in the middle of the legislature he was not going to be a councilor. Finally, last May he announced his departure from the PP and the government team, where he hardly had any functions.
That exit unleashed a thread of confessions and new interests. The pact denied for two years suddenly became real. Next, the PP, which never showed special interest in the mayor’s office while Pérez was in charge of his group, turned the tables and the six councilors who belonged to the government team left it and demanded that Salvador let them govern. Two of the four councilors of Cs also left the government and left Salvador with only a single councilor.
Salvador has never shown his weakness in public, something that everyone saw except him. Nor has it considered a problem to govern a city of 235,000 inhabitants with a single supporting councilor. Meanwhile, the PSOE and the PP have announced numerous meetings without advancing too much. Vox has demanded new elections while with strong criticism of Salvador and IU-UP-Adelante has preferred to wait and see. The straw that broke the camel’s back, however, took place in the middle of June 25, when in the middle of the act, all the groups except IU-UP-Adelante left the plenary session and forced the mayor to suspend it. That was when, in addition to being known, it was seen that the situation was already at a dead end. A few days later, Salvador has thrown in the towel and has put the PSOE in the winning box, something that perhaps the PP did not see coming when he left the government team.