Changed face of Almeria politics

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Almeria City Mayor Luis Rogelio Rodriguez-Comendador is "ready to talk to anyone".


THERE were election predictions for every taste before Sunday’s ballot.
Expected by some but not others, the Partido Popular (PP) took the most votes – 41.34 per cent – in Almeria’s municipal ballots. The PSOE socialists lagged behind on 33.9 per cent but won 440 council seats to the PP’s 432.
More votes did not automatically spell victory, not even for Almeria City Mayor Luis Rogelio Rodriguez-Comendador, one councillor short of an overall majority. “I am ready to talk to anyone,” he said after the votes were counted last Sunday night.
New parties like Ciudadanos and Podemos, which ran under the aegis of other groups, will in many cases dictate whether a town council is PP blue or PSOE red.
Between now and the June 13 deadline, local parties in many Almeria municipalities must kiss and make up in order to constitute a council.
Exceptions are Mojacar (PP), Vicar (PSOE), El Ejido (PP), Albox (PSOE), Berja (PP) and Huercal-Overa (PP), which lost councillors but retained their majorities. Another mayor not having to make way for a successor is 91-year-old Jose Antonio Torres, mayor of Chercos (population 280).
He has occupied the post for almost 20 years and stood for re-election because Chercos residents asked him to, he explained before the elections.
Come Sunday night and in the count-up neither he nor the local PP was disappointed and he returned with an overall majority. With a turnout of almost 87 per cent, Torres obtained 41.78 per cent of the vote although  this was significantly lower than 2011’s 60 per cent.  
Mayors less fortunate than Torres in Roquetas, Adra, Nijar, Vera, Carboneras, La Mojonera, Dalias, Huercal de Almería, Vélez Rubio and Chirivel no longer have overall majorities and anticipate some hard bargaining – and possibly unexpected bedfellows – before June 13.


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