Council infighting in Torremolinos

Council infighting

TORREMOLINOS’ Partido Popular (PP) party is in turmoil after an internal rift between its former mayor and other members.

Pedro Fernandez Montes has been accused of a “boycott” by provincial deputy Ramon del Cid, causing the party to suspend its monthly meeting.  The party has now not held a meeting since September after apparent tensions over who will stand for mayor in the 2019 election, with some backing Fernandez Montes and other supporting Margarita del Cid.

The infighting comes after it was last week revealed two councillors in Benalmadena were being investigated over allegations they had taken bribes.

The Podemos party is investigating its own councillors, Enrique Garcia and Juan Ramon, over concerns they took bribes from the governing council team while in opposition.

It has been claimed the politicians took the sums in exchange for backing council policies between June 2015 and May 2016.  The commission explained it believes “very serious infractions” could have occurred.

Garcia and Ramon last year eventually entered into coalition with councillors expelled from party Ciudadanos and the PSOE party, giving Mayor Victor Navas an outright majority.  If the two councillors are now expelled from their party the coalition could come unstuck, however.

The investigation is considering whether Garcia signed “a pact with the PSOE and always doing whatever the mayor wanted,” as well as “having refused to oppose,” the mayor.

The three councillors who were expelled from the Ciudadanos party have since joined new group, Contigo.

Bernardo Jimenez, Oscar Ramundo and Beatriz Olmedo, were removed from their original party after coming to an agreement with left-leaning PSOE, “signing a covert pact.” They have now joined the new party, which is an offshoot of Contigo Somos Democracia (CSD).

According to media reports, the three have already held their first few meetings as Contgio and begun promoting the party on social media.

The group say their policies will be centrist and are gearing up for the next municipal elections in two years’ time with the aim of taking votes from Ciudadanos.  They are also preparing to hold their first national conference in Granada in October.

Since being expelled, the councillors have held council roles in urban planning, personnel and mobility, while Bernardo Jimenez is Contigo’s new spokesman.

Ciudadanos are now left without any representatives in the council despite winning 10 per cent of the vote at the last election.

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