Local Elections

On Sunday 24th May Frigiliana goes to the polls. Four years have passed since the present administration took office so it's time to vote again. The system here is quite different to what happens in the UK. Firstly, on Friday 8th May all the councillors leave office, although there is nothing to stop them from seeking re-election, and matters are dealt with instead by the officials until the new council has been elected. So potentially we lack the continuity that is given to British local government by the tradition of annual elections with one third of councillors leaving each year. Having said that, there has been great continuity here in Frigiliana as the Partido Andalucista has held power for five terms, this latest in coalition with the two Partido Popular councillors elected in 2011. The second difference is that you don't vote for individual candidates, but for the person who is put forward by each party for the post of Alcalde, or mayor. In consultation with the party this candidate then selects a team who will join him or her in power if the party is successful. So when you go into the polling booth you vote for a party, not individuals. The result is then determined on a proportional basis. Each party polling above a threshold level is allocated seats according to the percentage of votes cast for the party. We have eleven seats to be filled, and so to govern alone a party needs a minimum of six seats. In 2011 neither Partido Andalucista nor PSOE, the socialist party managed this. PA won four seats, PSOE five and Partido Popular, the conservative equivalent, took the two remaining seats. PA was able to continue in power by forming a coalition with PP, something which gave rise to great indignation within the ranks of PSOE whose members and supporters took the view that they had won and had a moral right to take over. Sadly for them a moral right carries no weight in the calculations and PSOE and PP were so far apart in policy terms that there was no way they could have found enough common ground to form a coalition. My own sympathies lie with Partido Andalucista. I have known the village now for over thirty years and so I have witnessed its regeneration under PA control. So I accepted an invitation to be considered for their list, and following a meeting yesterday evening where I signed my life away and put my signature to an acceptance form, I am now a candidate in the election. Having said that, I shall not get overexcited. As I said, there are eleven seats to be allocated across three parties. I come in at number 12 on the PA list (a suplente or reserve). Even so I can make my contribution by taking the campaign to the foreign residents.

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