A. M. Romero / N. Hesketh
Malaga / Mijas
Friday, 16 June 2023, 11:29
New mayors will be sworn in across Malaga province and the rest of Spain this Saturday morning as the official date arrives for recently elected councillors to start work.
This includes in Mijas, the province's third-largest municipality, where a three-way coalition has been agreed for the next four years led by existing mayor, Josele González of the Socialist PSOE. It follows no party winning an overall majority of councillors in May's local election there.
Investiture meetings will take place tomorrow in 103 municipalities in Malaga province including the Costa del Sol, from the biggest cities and towns such as Malaga, Marbella, Mijas and Fuengirola through to villages with a few hundred inhabitants.
Last month's municipal elections saw a big swing to the right locally and across Spain, with the conservative Partido Popular (PP) being the biggest single party.
The PP will govern in the majority of municipalities in Malaga province. However, in some areas, where one party did not get an overall majority, last-minute negotiations have been going on to form coalitions and try to stop the biggest party from taking control.
The biggest question mark in Malaga province up to last week was who would govern in Mijas.
In the end, the PSOE's González will continue as mayor in a coalition of his 10 councillors with two Ciudadanos' councillors and one councillor for Por Mi Pueblo.
The one councillor for Por Mi Pueblo, who effectively holds the balance of power, is Juan Carlos Maldonado, former mayor himself under Ciudadanos. He decided to support González, with whom he split in the last term in office, rather than the PP in Mijas when the local PP leader, Ángel Nozal refused to stand aside.
Nozal and Maldonado have long had disagreements between them over ongoing investigations into alleged corruption or malpractice reportedly linked to Ángel Nozal.
Now it is clear that the PP is not going to take control of the town hall, Nozal himself has decided to step down from Mijas politics which he has been involved in for almost 40 years. Between 2011 and 2015 he was mayor with an absolute majority but has been in opposition ever since.
The PSOE's González, Ciudadanos' local leader José Carlos Martín and Maldonado jointly met the press last week to outline some of the main action points in their coalition pact for Mijas.
González, who has been mayor since 2019, highlighted the "loyalty" to the municipality shown by Martín and Maldonado in signing the agreement, adding that it was "important" that Mijas had a "stable government with honest people heading up the departments".
Martín said: "Ciudadanos will continue doing what we know how to do best, which is govern and carry out constructive policies for locals. We have brought stability to the municipality and we continue to do so, just as we will carry on transforming the town from our [respective] areas of responsibility.
The three-way coalition's pact includes many actions for Mijas such as the construction of 500 assisted homes, encouraging greater locals' participation in council decisions, a home for the elderly in Las Lagunas and a sports facility at the old Mijas racecourse.
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