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José Manuel Medina

Through the twists and turns of the frontline political situation in Orihuela, few may have expected a dramatic twist occurring behind the scenes, a situation that not only changes the past, but could significantly influence the future.

Former Mayor of Orihuela, José Manuel Medina of the Partido Popular, was disqualified from office in 2013 for seven years, following a conviction for breach of trust following a case in 2003 revolving around the sale of land on the coastal zone, valued at around 2 million euro.

However, this week, the court of appeal overturned that ruling, thus quashing the conviction and freeing Medina from both the shackles of being tainted as corrupt, and from not holding any political position. Although this was one of fifteen cases filed against Medina, he has also seen another one of those cases dropped, in addition to his acquittal.

Given the current political situation, whereas the PP are in opposition and facing the rule of a minority government, they have tried on a number of occasions to overthrow the government through a censure motion, as widely reported in The Leader, but they have faced criticism for doing so and many even suggesting that the local PP group of Orihuela are acting outside the remit of both their national and regional groups, as a number of those serving politicians are themselves facing corruption charges.

José Manuel Medina who took over the rule of Orihuela in 1995, was himself involved in a censure motion, and has now spoken publically about the most recent attempts by his colleagues to oust Monseratte Guillén from his role of mayor, suggesting another level in which the local group of the PP seem to be acting in a renegade manner, stating that had they have asked for his advice, he would have suggested approaching the matter completely differently.

In an interview, Mendina expressed his regret at the way his colleagues had handled the situation, saying that “had they consulted me, they would have fared much better”, continuing to point out that “The situation of PP is very sorrowful at all levels and more locally.”

Reviewing his experience with such cases, Medina said, “I entered a motion in 86 with Luis Fernando Cartagena as a candidate of office”, lamenting how his knowledge could have proven invaluable to the PP in recent events.

This all begs the question as to whether Medina would return to politics, a question which he has not ruled out. Now clear of any wrongdoing, and largely silently shying away from involvement in what some consider to be petty squabbles, the experience of a man who has the accolade of being the longest serving mayor in the history of Orihuela could significantly change the situation before the next elections, whereas the alternative of the PP fighting towards a campaign based on four years of failing battles, with a recent history to the perception that they neglected certain areas of the municipality, such as the coast, and add to that the pending criminal charges of those members still under investigation, teaching an old dogs new tricks may not be a consideration if that old dog becomes the new broom that sweeps clean the politics of a damaged locality.

Filed under: http://www.theleader.info/article/42541/

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