Two Benalmadena councillors investigated for taking bribes

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Two councillors investigated

THE ANDALUCIA COMMISSION FOR GUARANTEEING DEMOCRACY is investigating two Benalmadena councillors for taking bribes.

The Podemos party is looking into whether its own councillors Enrique Garcia and Juan Ramon 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 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 ContigoSomosDemocracia (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.   The Podemos party is now requesting their two councillors face the same fate as the former Ciudadanos councillors.

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