A vote-buying network twists the final lines of the campaign

The alleged vote-buying network investigated by the Civil Guard, one in Melilla and another in Mojácar, may twist the last lines of the electoral campaign.

Oliver Thansan
Oliver Thansan
24 May 2023 Wednesday 22:24
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A vote-buying network twists the final lines of the campaign

The alleged vote-buying network investigated by the Civil Guard, one in Melilla and another in Mojácar, may twist the last lines of the electoral campaign.

The revelation that two of those arrested yesterday are councilors for the PSOE candidacy of this town in Almeria opens a new political scenario just 48 hours before the end of the campaign.

The Popular Party, which until mid-afternoon yesterday had maintained a prudent position regarding the plot –Feijóo did not even address the issue in his campaign events– pointed to the Minister of the Presidency, Félix Bolaños, who supported the candidacy of one of those detained at a rally held on May 18, during the pre-campaign.

The MEP and deputy secretary of the PP Esteban González Pons assured in Melilla that "there is a vote-buying plot that particularly involves Pedro Sánchez because his number two in the Government is the one who presented and promoted Mojácar's candidacy." González Pons related this plot to that of Melilla, something that the police, in principle, ruled out.

After the arrest of Francisco Bartolomé Flores, the leadership of the PSOE suspended him from militancy. Number five on the list, Cristóbal Vizcaíno, who is also allegedly implicated in the electoral fraud network, is not a party member, but the PSOE will also take action against him, since he appears on a party list.

However, this reaction seems to be insufficient to contain the budding offensive of the PP, which has found in this matter a new argument to agitate the last bars of the campaign. Ciudadanos and Vox also joined the chorus yesterday.

The PSOE, beyond the initiatives announced against the militants, avoided escalating the conflict. Pedro Sánchez, who was in Asturias yesterday, one of the places that the Socialists have secured, did not mention the issue, while the Socialist leadership stated that the party "does not tremble with any illegal practice or outside of a height maximum ethics. If they are implicated, file opening, expulsion and let justice judge them”.

So, at least until yesterday, the campaign continued its course. New posters have appeared on the streets of Barcelona. Jaume Collboni, the PSC candidate for mayor of Barcelona, ​​has ceded the limelight and now his photograph appears alongside that of Salvador Illa and Pedro Sánchez.

The leader of the PSOE, who has tried to avoid the campaign in a plebiscite mode –Sánchez yes, Sánchez no– that Alberto Núñez Feijóo raised from the beginning, gives up his image rights to the candidate from Barcelona, ​​where it is imperative, and possible, to win . And where Pedro Sánchez is supposed to add more than subtract.

It is the last arreón before tomorrow the strangest, most enervated and anodyne campaign ends at the same time. It began with the moral siege of Bildu, it has passed through the seats of the Council of Ministers -Sánchez has not made any announcement linked to the Government for two days-, the fights in the Senate, then through the Mestalla stadium and now it ends with the scandal of the vote buying.

The leader of the PSOE will close his electoral journey tomorrow at the Vall d'Hebrón sports center in Barcelona together with Collboni, and accompanied by José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero and Salvador Illa. All the meat in the Barcelona spit. Yolanda Díaz will also close the campaign with Ada Colau in the Sant Martí park.

Meanwhile, in Madrid, Isabel Díaz Ayuso – with a relevant absolute majority within reach – will have Feijóo by her side late on Friday, who, in the remaining 48 hours, will hold rallies in six different places.

Aragon, the Balearic Islands and the Valencian Community, presided over in this legislature by progressive governments, are the places that the PP considers affordable and Feijóo has turned to them in these last hours.

Winning in any of them would configure a different political scenario. This is an electoral contest that is played on two planes, the present and the future. The elections on Sunday and the general elections in December. Both candidates have conducted their entire campaign with that perspective.

However, the two leaders are also aware that winning these elections does not imply governing. Neither in these nor in the ones to come.

In the immediate future, in the elections on Sunday, in most of the autonomous communities – the mechanisms for electing mayors are different – ​​everything will depend on the results obtained by their eventual allies.