San Pedro party votes to continue support for Marbella's mayor

The OSP’s Manuel Osorio (left) and Rafael Piña speak to media.
The OSP’s Manuel Osorio (left) and Rafael Piña speak to media. / J. Rey
  • The three OSP councillors will not now support a PP party no-confidence vote which was proposed in return for political favours

The three-party coalition that controls Marbella town hall has managed to survive - just.

By a slim margin of four votes, members of the governing body of Opción Sampedreña (OSP), the San Pedro separatist party and coalition partner, voted not to withdraw their support for PSOE mayor José Bernal.

It means the OSPhas rejected the advances of the opposition PPparty to switch sides. Its three councilors will carry on as part of the ruling coalition that also includes the PSOE Socialist party and Izquierda Unida (IU) until the 2019 local elections.

Last week’s offer by PP councillors to OSP to support them in a vote of no confidence motion against the mayor in return for favourable treatment for the San Pedro area of the Marbella municipality, had threatened the stability of the council.

The OPSwent into coalition with the PSOEand IU on a two-year agreement in 2015, which expired recently. The coalition only has 12 votes, versus the 13 PPcouncillors, and the mayor has to frequently rely on the two votes of Podemos councillors to get what he wants.

Autonomy for San Pedro

The San Pedro councillors, who are known for following an agenda that favours their town’s status, whether it comes from the left or right on Marbella council, had threatened to desert José Bernal and allow Ángeles Muñoz, PP leader, back in as mayor.

However the party voted down the PP offer in the utmost secrecy. José Bernal attend the party’s meeting to lobby, promising more budget autonomy for San Pedro, where the OSP already runs the district town hall as part of the coalition deal.

Observers said the failure of the PP’s Muñoz to attend in person to lobby her case may have swung votes in favour of the existing coalition.