The electoral struggle waged by the PNV and EH Bildu in various Basque municipalities has become controversial in the Álava town of Ribera Alta, with 800 inhabitants. The jeltzales have denounced homophobic insults by the nationalist coalition against their candidate and current mayor, Javier Gallego, who has been a drag actor for years under the pseudonym La Polaka.
The controversy arose from a video in support of Bildu in which, under the heading "Does this seem serious to you?", a fragment of a video clip from La Polaka is played, where the mayor appears dressed as a drag queen, with wigs of various colors, while singing: “I am La Polaka, a Basque vampire, who is looking for a stake. I am arrogant, behind and in front. The political video ends with the electoral logo of EH Bildu in Ribera Alta and a message: "We have to put an end to this joke!!!".
Javier Gallego, 40, is an actor and has been on stage all his life. He was appointed mayor of Ribera Alta in 2021, when he replaced Jesús Berganza, who retired after 22 years in office. Under the leadership of Berganza, the Basque Nationalist Party has been the party with the most votes in this municipality since 1995. In the last elections (2019), the PNV obtained 51.29% of the votes, followed by EH Bildu (with 26 %) and PP (127%).
Bildu's video has aroused great indignation among the ranks of the PNV, where statements of support for Gallego have multiplied. The Araba Buru Batzar, the party's executive from Alava, issued a harsh statement on Sunday in which it condemned the "insults" to its candidate "because of his condition as a drag queen." It is "mean that a formation that proclaims itself a defender of the rights of all people lashes out at La Polaca and says that she is not a worthy person for the position of mayor," lamented the president of the ABB, José Antonio Suso. "It's enough to mark people and point out the different", he added.
"Javi Gallego has my full support. A mayor devoted to his municipality who works to achieve the best for Ribera Alta. The usual intransigents will not be able to deal with him. I have seen the video, typical of moralistic retrograds who boast of progressives", Ramiro González, deputy general of Álava, has tweeted.
From EH Bildu they have distanced themselves from the video against Gallego, which was broadcast on the Telegram channel of the Abertzale coalition in the municipality. Sources from the provincial management have stressed that the video was made by a member of the Ribera Alta electoral candidacy, without the authorization or knowledge of his superiors.