ALTHOUGH the result was a foregone conclusion, a formal vote of no confidence saw the departure of José Bernal and the return of Ángeles Muñoz.
This means that the Partido Popular, so closely linked with ruling Marbella for decades has taken over the council again after just over two years in the wilderness.
Ángeles Muñoz was mayor from 2007 until the elections in 2015 but then did not have sufficient members elected to the council to allow her to return as leader.
Whilst she tried to obtain support from one of the minority parties, she was unsuccessful which meant that a tripartite consisting of the socialist PSOE, leftist Izquierda Unida and the San Pedro Independence Party took power with the frequent support of Podemos.
After initially ‘bad mouthing’ Muñoz and refusing to support her party after the election, Rafael Piña, leader of the San Pedro party had a change of heart just weeks after turning down an approach to form a new council in early August of this year.
He then declared that San Pedro had been promised much but delivered little by Bernal and therefore with a promise of greater autonomy and €18 million in grants, agreed to ‘cross the chamber’ and deliver his two votes in the no confidence motion.
Now with this support, the PP controls 15 votes against the opposition which can now only muster 12 and thus all of the portfolios of the council with the exception of Treasury which is held by the San Pedro councillor will change.
The new mayor says that she is looking to work with the other parties particularly with regards to budget expenditure and with the next election not due for 21 months, if the opposition won’t toe the line, then she can certainly impose her will.
The Podemos councillors have publicly stated that they will be the mouth of the opposition and will keep a close eye on the activities of the new council, but unless there is an unlikely change in the San Pedro support, the PP will control the council for nearly two years.