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Most of the political parties standing for election on May 22nd have candidates for mayor with pending court cases
30.04.11 - 12:00 -
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On Wednesday last week the BOP (official provincial bulletin) published the party lists for the municipal elections on May 22nd. Among them are a total of 26 candidates aspiring to become mayor of their respective municipalities who face criminal charges in cases that are still pending trial.
The majority of these candidates with accusations hanging over their heads are standing for the Socialist PSOE party, with 13 of the 25. Four of them represent the PP (Partido Popular) while the rest stand for independent groups.
Estepona is the municipality with the most potential mayors pending trial. The current mayor, David Valadez, standing for reelection for the PSOE, as well as three other candidates, José Ignacio Crespo (Partido de Estepona - PES); Rosa Díaz (Estepona 2007), and Rafael Montesinos (CD Andaluz) are currently under investigation by a court of law. Among other issues the current mayor is accused of company fraud and falsification of documents.
The cases of Alhaurín el Grande and Ronda also stand out from the rest. In Alhaurín both the Socialist candidate, Cristóbal Bonilla, and the current mayor and candidate for reelection, Juan Martín Serón (PP), have court cases hanging over their heads. The situation is similar in_Ronda, where the current PSOE mayor, Antonio Marín, and his PP_rival, Mari Paz Fernández, are both among the accused in different court investigations.
In the rest of the province there are several other mayors hoping to be reelected despite accusations, many of which are related to planning offences. These include the Socialist mayor of Alfarnatejo, Antonio Benítez, who is accused of illegally granting a licence for a campsite; the mayor of Colmenar, Pedro Fernández, who could face a sentence of one year in prison plus an eight year ban on holding public office if found guilty of attempting to legalise two properties; or the mayor of Almogía, Cristóbal Torreblanca, under investigation for corruption.
One of the PP’s ‘accused’ candidates is the current mayor of Alhaurín de la Torre, Joaquín Villanova, who is under investigation for embezzlement, along with the mayor of Benamocarra, Abdeslam Lucena, who faces a nine month sentence for charges of disobedience.
Meanwhile the mayor of Manilva, Antonia Muñoz, who is also standing for reelection for Izquierda Unida (IU) has been accused of an offence against the Public Administration for allegedly giving jobs to family and friends.
The rest of the independent candidates include the PITA candidate for Alcaucín, José Manuel Martín, who is accused of bribery. Ernesto Silva, mayor of Villanueva de la Concepción for Foro Andaluz, also faces bribery charges.
Elections bring plenty of new faces to the political arena
Ignacio Lillo
Now the names are officially on the table the countdown is on for the municipal elections. In the province of Malaga the main political groups have opted to bring in fresh faces in their attempts to convince voters that theirs is the best option. The three parties that have traditionally shared the majority of the votes, PP, PSOE and IU, have changed between 50 and 60 per cent of their candidates compared with 2007. Meanwhile the Partido Andalucista, who have a candidate for mayor in 38 municipalities, are only repeating ten names. The main new player in the arena is the UPD (Unión, Progreso y Democracia), a national party started by former leading Socialist figure, Rosa Diéz, which gained its first seat in the Spanish Congreso in the last general election. This is the first time the party has stood in the municipal elections and hopes to gain a presence on 12 local councils in the province of Malaga.
The Partido Popular has new candidates for mayor in 62 of Malaga’s 101 municipalities, Estepona, Ronda and Antequera, among them. On the other hand the current Mayor of Malaga, Francisco de la Torre, standing for the third consecutive year, is one of the most veteran active local politicians, at his 68 years of age. A total of 25 of the PP’s aspiring mayors are women.
More women
In the case of the Socialist party there are 27 female candidates for mayor (twice as many as in 2007). In the city of Malaga PSOE candidate María Gámez fits the double bill of providing a fresh face and increasing the total of female candidates, while in Antequera, the Andalusian President of the PSOE, Rosa Torres, returns from Seville with the intention of giving her town a woman mayor. The PSOE claim that all of their tickets for May 22nd are gender-balanced, with no fewer than 40 per cent and no more than 60 per cent of names of the same sex.
Izquierda Unida are putting up candidates for mayor in 95 municipalities, 23 of them women.


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