Friday, September 08, 2006

Wanted….Presentable Candidate, Political Heavyweight Preferred

Who will the Spanish Socialist Party choose as their candidate for the mayoral elections in Madrid next year? It’s an open question in the city of eternal trenches after the announcement yesterday that the candidate last time round, Trinidad Jiménez, is to join the government. La Trini has been given a completely new post in the foreign affairs ministry, with responsibility for “Iberoamerica” – which sounds like an airline. Anyway, lots of nice trips to interesting places in South America are guaranteed, I could do that.

The reason for moving Jiménez is because Prime Minister Zapatero wants to put up a well known candidate against incumbent mayor Alberto Ruiz Gallardón, in an attempt to snatch one of the biggest political prizes in the country. Strong rumours have circulated about that candidate being Javier Solana, “Mr Foreign Affairs” for the European Union – although other names mentioned have included former defence minister José Bono and even Felipe González.

It would be strange if Zapatero made his move yesterday without knowing who the candidate would be, but there is still no official announcement. Solana is a veteran politician and very well known, but it’s not clear that he wants to do this. The arrogant self-regarding Bono would be insufferable as mayor of Madrid, I think I would almost prefer Gallardón; I find it hard to believe that González would be a candidate, he is certainly a heavyweight and always had electoral appeal, but it seems inconceivable that he would return now to active politics. Madrid is probably too small a stage for someone who was Prime Minister for 14 years.

Along with the European elections, this is an election that I can actually vote in as an EU citizen – I am really making a big effort to conceal my excitement. One thing that is certain, should I vote at all, is that the candidate I support will not become mayor of Madrid.

1 comment:

Matthew Bennett said...

Punto Radio was saying that it might be Bono the other day in an interview with him, where he absolutely denied all knowledge or involvement in such a plan.