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Socialists break local government pact in Mijas and blame the mayor

Josele González and other Socialist councillors on Tuesday.
Josele González and other Socialist councillors on Tuesday. / I.G.
  • The PSOE has criticised the "incompetence" of the mayor, who in turn has blamed accusations against a councillor as the cause of the split

The local branch of the PSOE Socialist party in Mijas has broken the local government coalition pact with Ciudadanos, the party of the mayor, Juan Carlos Maldonado.

The split comes after a week of friction and quarreling between the two parties, whose councillors have run the town hall together since 2016, when Ciudadanos broke their original pact with the Partido Popular.

The latest dispute began after the publication of a complaint filed by the mayor against a PSOE councillor for allegedly disclosing confidential council information.

Relations have not been good between the two parties for several months however, made worse by the mayor's decision not to vote in favour of appointing the Socialist spokesman, Josele González, as CEO of Mijas Comunicación, as agreed in the original pact.

The PSOE's seven councillors were present on Tuesday as González announced the decision taken out of "responsibility" and "dignity" which will put the party in the opposition.

"[Maldonado's] fickle party has shifted further towards the right, putting its electoral interests first, and all coinciding with the pact in Andalucía," said González referring to the new Cs and PP centre-right coalition government at the Junta.

González also complained that in 11 months, he has only had one meeting alone with the mayor and said that projects agreed in the coalition pact, such as the nursery in Mijas Pueblo, a care home for the elderly and more social benefits, had not been carried out.

Maldonado, on the other hand, has put the split down to two motives. One is the report against the PSOE councillor, which refers to "very serious" matters that are now in the hands of the Guardia Civil. The other reason, said the mayor, is that the PSOE is getting "nervous" after losing power in the Junta de Andalucía.

Last Friday the PSOE put 12 demands on the table to preserve the coalition, which Maldonado has described as "unacceptable".

"Four of the projects were in the original agreement and are in progress, but the rest are new issues that they know cannot be carried out in less than four months," he said, referring to the time left before the local election in May.

Some of the demands, he added, concern "issues hanging over from the poor management of the PSOE more than eight years ago."

Now Mijas town hall has been thrown into instability, with the governing Cs party having just five of 25 seats on the council. They will now have to take control of 30 council departments between them.