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The Executive Committee of the Partido Popular in Orihuela has appointed José Francisco Pérez Espinosa as their new interim President, following the expulsion of Pepa Ferrando from the party after she led a renegade group to defy party policy and refuse to vote in an anticorruption motion.

However, Dámaso Aparicio who was appointed as the temporary president by the regional group held a press conference in which he claims to be the rightful holder of the title, and therefore the President of the Orihuela PP group, as the votes for Pérez Espinosa were illegal, on account of the provincial group appointing him and the vote should not have taken place as it was held by those members affiliated with Ferrando, who is expelled.

Aparicio was also forced to threaten Ferrando this week, demanding the return of keys to the local Partido Popular offices and passwords to computers, after the locks to the building had been mysteriously changed.

Those members involved in the refusal to vote in the anticorruption motion have so far been seen standing beside Ferrando, after she said that she would not be forced to vote in the motion by her national and regional executive, who are attempting to clean up their image before the elections in May.

Along with Ferrando, David Costa, Encarnación Ortuño, Araceli Vilella, Victor Bernabéu, José Antonio Aniorte all left the plenary meeting on the 22nd of December and avoided the vote in the motion which was tabled for a second time after the CLR party hijacked the original proposal and managed to steer the motion in a different manner, subsequently forcing the vote once again. Pedro Mancebo from CLR abstained from the second vote, whereas his political colleague, Juan Ignacio López Bas also left the meeting and didn´t vote, Mónica Lorente from the PP was not present at the meeting due to ill health, and also therefore didn´t vote.

At the time when the anticorruption motion was being discussed, the courts also announced an investigation into yet another contract award in Orihuela, in which it is once again alleged that the former ruling Partido Popular government may have split contracts into smaller amounts so as to circumvent the public tender process.

This latest case revolves around the total award of 369,267.50 euro for work to convert the Palacio Sorzano de Tejada into a museum. Following a complaint by the current PSOE – Los Verdes government coalition, the prosecutor wishes to ascertain why the amount was divided between 5 different companies, despite the work being in the same building and for the same project.

According to the complaint made in September, the division f the work could have been designed to circumvent the need for a public tender that would have allowed the free competition of enterprises, in accordance with the law on procurement in the public sector.

The prosecutor has requested all documents relating to this latest complaint for work between 2010 and 2011, whilst the municipality was under the management of Mayor Mónica Lorente, and cites Pepa Ferando, as well as David Costa and Rodríguez Barberá.

Meanwhile, Aparicio has said that the matter of presidency and membership will be resolved this week, when the recognized officials of the local group meet with the regional heads to try to close this latest chapter of confusion and upheaval and then try to focus on the job required by politicians, representing the people they serve.

Filed under: http://www.theleader.info/article/46056/

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