THE publication of 19 photographs in a Javea magazine seems to have created a bigger outrage than the infamous WIKI leaks exposed in 2010. Local political opposition parties are climbing over each other to denounce the alleged transgressor as breaking the number one rule in the political electioneering rulebook; Thou shalt not use public money to blow thine own political trumpet.
The accusations relate to the recent distribution of MesXabia, a monthly town hall publication, in which it is claimed, “19 out of 52 photographs are of the current Mayor Eduardo Monfort and a further 12 feature his governing councilors together with an out of proportion amount of propaganda, highlighting projects completed, and in progress, during his Governing term of four years.”
It is also alleged that the colour of the magazine has been printed to match the election publicity material currently used by the Mayor’s own political party, BlocCentristes.
PSOE leader Jose Chulvi demands the withdrawal of the magazine and states, “In the interests of transparency and given the fraudulent use of public money in favour of the BLOC-Centristas we have decided to seek redress from the Electoral Board,” Oscar Anton of Xabia Democratica claims the cost to taxpayers for this publication is around €3,300 per month and asks, “Why should the citizens pay for such a blatant piece of election propaganda?” Councilor Anton has also issued an official denuncia. And Juan Planelles Nueva Javea party leader has condemned the publication as, “Violating all the team rules of fair and proper electioneering,” and has also sent a letter of complaint to the Electoral Office in Denia.
Within 24 hours of receiving the above complaints, last Thursday April 21st, the Committee of the Electoral Board ordered the immediate withdrawal of MesXabia magazine from all distribution points and total deletion from the Town Hall’s website under the threat of sanctions.
For those interested in detail, article 50 of the Basic Law on General Elections (LOREG) states that once the elections have been called it is forbidden for any event to be organized or financed, directly or indirectly, by public authorities that contain references to accomplishments or achievements, or use images or expressions matching or similar to those used in their own campaigns by any of the competing political parties in the elections.
Mayor Monfort of the BLOC Valencian Nationalist Party is no stranger to controversy having recently been accused of removing tables and chairs from Javea port terraces to appease the local Xabieros voters.