The former long-standing mayor of Torremolinos has announced that he is leaving the conservative Partido Popular (PP) and looks set to lend his support to the independent political group, Por Mi Pueblo.
Pedro Fernández Montes was mayor of Torremolinos for two decades from 1995 to 2015 before losing his majority and a minority PSOE council taking over.
Since stepping down, Fernández Montes has been involved in a high-profile civil war within the local PP as the provincial leaders of the party sought to refresh its leadership. They imposed Margarita del Cid as the leader of the local PP group in the town and therefore candidate to be mayor in May's local election.
The downgrading of the former mayor's position within the town had caused a split which culminated this week with Fernández stepping down completely from the PP after 43 years as a member.
In his resignation announcement he didn't hold back in his criticism of the current local PP chief. Presenting a file with his accusations, he questioned Del Cid's financial affairs, including "fraudulent" separation of assets with her husband and debt in family business affairs.
He claimed that regional PP head, Elías Bendodo, hadn't allowed a free vote of party members to decide Del Cid's' local leadership "because he knew that Margarita didn't have their support".
On Margarita del Cid, he said, "her marriage is deep in debt". "How can a person in that situation run a town hall when she can't even keep her own house in order?" he explained.
Fernández Montes announced that he will be supporting the Por Mi Pueblo party which is expanding its influence ahead of May's elections in many towns and village s in the province on a platform of local action and independence.
In reply Del Cid said, "The only thing I want is for everyone to keep their cool and work positively towards a common goal for Torremolinos."