Isabel Díaz Ayuso has blocked in the WhatsApp of his mobile the secretary general of the PP, Teodoro García Egea. It is not the only party official who can not write directly by the messaging service to the president of the Community of Madrid. Other leaders of Genoa or collaborators of the mayor of the capital, José Luis Martínez-Almeida, have also been blocked, according to media outlets such as El Mundo and Abc in the last week. Ayuso herself has confirmed the fact with a wasap, sent from another phone that manages his team on his behalf. In it she justifies the blockades in that the first “is for emergencies”, which allows to infer that the number two of his friend Pablo Casado does not fall into that category.
Casado wins the first round to Ayuso
Then he unblocked them. Or not. Or first he did, and then he didn’t. Or not all of them. The number of people blocked is also unclear. They are between 10 and 15, always according to the media that have unraveled this kind of cold war. An anecdote that the protagonist herself has called “schoolyard discussions”, despite participating in them actively, and that accounts for the tremendous internal brawl that lives the PP for control of the party in Madrid. Despite the many attempts to appease tempers and to stage an image of unity (the last time, last Friday, the script barely held a couple of hours) the date for the militants to choose their next leader, or leaderess, continues to widen the emotional gap that separates Genoa from the Puerta del Sol. And vice versa.
Ayuso lost the initial assault for the conquest of the first floor of the building that serves as the national and regional headquarters of the PP, and that Casado himself has been trying to get rid of since last February for being the epicenter of the main cases of corruption in the party, including its remodeling paid in black money, as recently sentenced by the National Court. The president of the PP does not want to repeat the scenes of the times when Mariano Rajoy sat in the chair now occupied by him and, a few meters below, Esperanza Aguirre made his life impossible. Also then the mayor of the capital, Alberto Ruiz Gallardón, operated as a counterweight to prevent the national assault of the leader.
The former president made a stellar reappearance by describing as “chiquilicuatres” some of those who are now blocked by her successor and protégée. Egea, the blocked, responded as no one expected him to do: “What destroyed the PP of Madrid was corruption. Aguirre lowered the piston and Ayuso understood that she was not going to be president of the party in the region this fall, as she intended. But the accumulated resentment against the Murcian leader has now exploded. That Saturday in early October, Ayuso discussed his expected speech with a group of journalists and wanted to make it very clear that the message of reconciliation was aimed at Pablo Casado. Only. To the friend with whom he had shared “16 years of militancy”. From there down, he said, he “do not care”.
After the act of contrition of the National Convention, with which Ayuso managed to grab the spotlight in one of the days most prepared by the leadership of his party, the regional president returns to the charge. His new battle is that the regional congress, which should be held in the first half of 2022, do it in the first part of that period. Before March if possible. Again Aguirre served as unofficial spokesman for his successor. While Ayuso said she will abide by the decision of the party, ie its national leadership, the former president said that the congress should be “in January”.
Aguirre said at the end of the unsuccessful meeting of the Regional Board of Directors last Friday that there had been “unanimity” in demanding that date. But that “unanimity” was not such. The accidental president of the party in Madrid, Pío García Escudero, assured that he was going to transfer to his bosses in Genoa the feeling of the organization, which was collected in interventions in favor of holding the congress as soon as possible, the first of Ayuso, but also to shore up the thesis of the national leadership that it will depend on other previous conclaves in multi-provincial communities that are already underway.
The proof that this unanimity was not such is the leak of another wasap, collected by El Mundo, which was sent from the team of the secretary general of the PP in Madrid, Ana Camins, to claim support for the thesis of Genoa.
Ayuso wants the congress to be convened as soon as possible to take control of the party at the regional level, which would allow him to extend his dominance gradually to all municipalities. The anticipation is key because there are regional and local elections in sight in May 2023. There are 18 months left, which is not that long.or time for the internal bureaucracies of the organizations. The longer this control is delayed, the more difficult it will be for Ayuso to define the electoral lists for these municipal elections, including that of the Madrid City Council, which is headed by José Luis Martínez-Almeida.
The figure of the mayor of the capital appeared in this war almost as a guest of stone. Casado’s option was always to place as president of the PP of Madrid precisely the current regional secretary general, Ana Camins. An intermediate option to not choose, or erect, the mayor or the president. Something that José María Aznar already did in the nineties of the last century, although the unwritten rule indicates that the regional leader of the party is the one who presides over the region or who makes opposition at the same level.
But that customary rule is being broken in Casado’s PP. The first case will be the mayor of Zaragoza, Jorge Azcón, who will run to replace Luis María Beamonte at the head of the party in Aragon. Azcón has gained prominence in recent weeks as spokesman for the party in the Spanish Federation of Municipalities and Provinces thanks to the media coverage of the Deputy Secretary of Territorial Policies, Antonio González Terol. In Cantabria, a similar case can also occur with the mayor of Santander, Gema Igual, who has the support of Casado to become the President of the party at the regional level.
Azcón could be elected in the coming weeks. Gema Igual will have to wait until the first half of 2022 as Cantabria is a uniprovincial community, as is Madrid. The desperation of the Puerta del Sol to win in the pulse that maintains with Genoa has led them to hint that they could take to court the national organization for not convening the congress of the PP in Madrid in a timely manner. A report leaked this weekend points out that the statutes and even the law of parties obliges to convene, at the latest, in March.
A “carajal”, as defined by Ayuso herself last Friday at the entrance of the meeting of the regional leadership. When the meeting ended, he left in his official car through the garage to avoid journalists.