Six of Orihuela´s Partido Popular councillors failed to attend the monthly plenary meeting this week, thus once again avoiding voting on an anti-corruption motion.
It is the second time that the motion first presented by unassigned councillor Asun Mayoral was to be heard, after the majority PP and their CLr associates managed to bypass the agreement that any councillor charged in a corruption case would not stand for election.
Despite that first successful avoidance of the issue, the regional party heads had last week told the local group that they must vote in favour of the motion in their attempt to support the national party´s attempt to clean up their political image after countless scandals and corruption cases
However, local party head Pepa Ferrando, along with David Costa, Araceli Vilella, Víctor Bernabeu, Encarna Ortuño and José Antonio Aniorte Leer, a once councillor for the Orihuela Costa, failed to attend the monthly meeting where the residents of the municipality are formally represented.
However, with their absence was a sting in the tail, as given the balance of members voting the motion was approved with the votes of the remaining 5 PP members, along with the full support of the ruling coalition government of the 6 members of the PSOE and 2 from Los Verdes, and the proposer, Asun Mayoral. Of the PP members of voted in favour of the motion, 2 are not facing any charges currently, Victor Bernabeu and Encarna Ortuño.
CLr member Juan Ignacio López Bas left the plenary hall before the vote was to be cast, whereas his colleague, Pedro Mancebo, who had been vocal in the past about the need to clean up politics and deplore corruption, abstained.
Former PP leader Mónica Lorente was also not present due to sick leave, as is the case for the current mayor, Monseratte Guillén, and Bob Houliston was absent due to him travelling.
Ferrando gave a press conference after the event in which she accused the provincial President, José Ciscar, of the way in which he attempted to enforce the supportive vote and his seemingly professionally threatening behaviour. Ferrando also stated how she would “never submit to such threats” in a hurry and boasted of having earned her position through hard work in getting the support of members and “not like other people”.
Ferrando also defended her local Partido Popular colleagues, saying that the group is “not broken” and that she has given her member “freedom to vote” in support, or not, on the motion. However, Ferrando also said that “what is broken is the Partido Popular of Orihuela”, clearly laying the blame in the hands of one person, Eva Ortiz, criticizing the former MEP of partitioning votes for another political party in the elections of 2011, for which she has never been punished.
Ferrando herself is accused in a case of dividing contracts which benefitted the company named Pepa Ferrando S.L., for which she denies any involvement as it is actually run by her sister, she says.
Filed under: http://www.theleader.info/article/45982/