Alcaucín Socialists retain mayoralty in last minute change of heart over confidence vote

Mayor Ágata González (standing) after Wednesday's vote.
Mayor Ágata González (standing) after Wednesday's vote. / A PELÁEZ
  • Former Ciudadanos councillor Sara Matés said she regretted signing the motion on 7 January and had asked colleagues to withdraw it afterwards

Mayor of Alcaucín Ágata González (PSOE) has retained her position following a failed vote of no confidence against her and her party on Wednesday. The vote was close, with six councillors voting against the motion and five in favour. It was the decision of former Ciudadanos councillor, Sara Matés, who requested on Tuesday to become an independent councillor, as well as that of former Por Mi Pueblo councillor Sebastián Navero, to vote against the motion, despite having agreed to abstain, which swayed the vote in González's favour.

Matés said on Wednesday that she later regretted signing the motion which was registered at Alcaucín town hall on 7 January by the Ciudadanos (C's) party with the support of the Partido Popular (PP). It was tabled due to a lack of dialogue between the PSOE and other parties, according to C's and the PP. After last year's local elections, C's and PSOE had formed a coalition with the latter taking the mayor's office.

"I regretted it because it is not what Alcaucín wanted," Matés said, adding that prior to Wednesday's council meeting she had been asking her former party to withdraw the vote.

Matés admitted that while originally from Alcaucín, she had not been "very aware" of what had been going on in the village as she lives in Malaga city and has been recovering from breast cancer. She denied being pressured into making any decision and said she had "all the support" of her friends and father.

The former Ciudadanos councillor said that she had originally intended to abstain. However, after "considerable thought" she decided to "support the mayor as a feminist and as a woman".

Fernando Córdoba (C's), who would have become mayor had the vote been passed, spoke of the "harassment" Matés and her family had suffered.

Por Mi Pueblo (PMP) councillor Sebastián Navero has been expelled from his party for "a serious lack of discipline" for failing to keep his promise to abstain. PMP has requested he becomes an independent councillor.

González leads with a minority in Alcaucín and has not yet laid out plans to ensure stability in the council going forward.