ALMOST 400 people got together on Tuesday, September 30, in Alicante’s town square to demand the resignation of the city’s mayor Sonia Castedo.
Castedo has been charged on suspicion of having committed two separate offences in the ‘Brugal’ corruption case. The offences relate to irregularities in Alicante’s General Urban Planning Ordinance (Plan General de Ordenación Urbana – PGOU), and Castedo faces charges of leaking sensitive information to property developers.
Anger arose after the Partido Popular (PP) majority on Alicante’s council successfully blocked a motion made by Esquerra Unida asking for Castedo’s resignation in light of the court case.
Tuesday’s protest was organised by a total of 24 different groups, including the left-wing political parties Podemos, Esquerra Unida and Compromís, who wish to create a citizen’s platform from where to push for Castedo’s resignation.
More than 40 officers from both the Local and National Police forces were in attendance to supervise the protests.
During a tense council session, the 18 representatives from the PP managed to defeat the Esquerra Unida’s motion for the mayor’s resignation, which also called for the PGOU to be put on hold pending the investigations.
The mayor refused to resign, despite the obvious unease of several of her fellow PP members, and despite the many shouts and insults launched at her from the opposition parties, she remained firmly within the council chamber.
Speaking on behalf of Podemos, Jennifer Aponte said that she was ‘surprised’ that the mayor remained in office despite being indicted for a second time.
The protests may very well continue until the mayor gives in, or her party decides that she is too much of a liability to be allowed to remain in office. For now, however, it appears that Mayor Sonia Castedo is set on remaining in office.