“IT’S A FUNNY old game” as Jimmy Greaves, former player and football pundit used to say! While he was referring to football, exactly the same could be said of the shenanigans that have been happening in Torrevieja over the last few days.
While other elected councillors in towns and cities around Spain cast their ballots at noon on Saturday to indicate whom they wish to be their mayor, Torrevieja did not, and instead retiring Mayor, Pedro Hernandez Mateo and all city councillors (pre-election) will continue to perform their previous functions until such time as the matter can be settled.
The end result will not change. Eduardo Dolon will be the next mayor of Torrevieja but there is a slim chance that one seat on the council may change hands. The situation is that on May 22, two tables, in two schools, witnessed irregularities. At the time all parties agreed to not take matters any further and the votes, 636 of them, were deemed null and void and not put towards the final tally, with the biggest looser being the winning party, the Partido Popular, who lost more than 300 votes, to IU’s 26.
However, more than a week after the election results were announced, Izquierda Unida (IU) had a change of heart and decided to issue an appeal to the High Court to call for a repeat in the elections at two polling stations, through a fault arising from errors in the formalization of the minutes of the members of the tables.
The elections gave the PP candidate, Eduardo Dolon absolute majority, with 15 aldermen, the PSOE won six councillors, four went to Alternativa Popular de Torrevieja and two, the Greens. Regardless of whether the complaint, entered by the IU on June 2 makes a difference or not, the law provides that such disputes must be resolved and so this action has delayed the formation of Torrevieja’s new Corporation.
The two polling stations in question are Colegio Virgen del Carmen and Colegio Gratiniano Baches. In essence, about 1,200 people will have the opportunity to cast their votes again.
While some may view this exercise as one of the IU ‘Clutching at straws’, the IU led by José Manuel Martínez Andreu, were only 40 votes short to overcome the five percent barrier, with a combined total of 1,179 votes. Had they received those valuable votes, they would have won a seat on the council. It matters not who would lose a councillor if the IU were to somehow gain a seat; Eduardo Dolon will still have an absolute majority, no matter what.
If the IU vote is not enough to reach the 5% threshold, they will remain in the political wilderness for the next four years alongside other smaller groups such as the Humanists.
By Keith Nicol