POLITICS

A surprise candidate to head the Andalusian Popular Party

PM apparently foils his deputy’s plans with appointment

Following months of tension and delays, the Popular Party (PP) has finally produced a candidate to head its Andalusian branch.

Juan Manuel Moreno, currently the state secretary for equality and social services, will officially become a contender between Tuesday and Wednesday, with the support of the national and regional executive committees.

It had been four months since the Andalusian PP, with Juan Ignacio Zoido at the helm, first started to ask Madrid for a decision regarding a new leader. But the announcement kept getting delayed against a backdrop of tension between PP secretary general, María Dolores de Cospedal, and Javier Arenas, a veteran party official who used to hold the same post.

Until now, all eyes had been trained on José Luis Sanz, Zoido’s top aide and De Cospedal’s preferred choice. But the PP’s plans have changed all of a sudden without the reasons yet being wholly clear.

Nevertheless, some party insiders believe that it was a blow to De Cospedal’s strategy. José Luis Sanz, the mayor of Tomares, who also wanted the job, was told that he didn’t have the support of the PP in Cádiz and Málaga, the two Andalusian provinces with the largest numbers of conservative voters.

There were numerous phone calls between PP officials in Madrid and both Moreno and Zoido, but in the end it was Carlos Floriano, the party’s organizational secretary, who called Moreno to tell him of his appointment.

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