Mata, Maldonado and Vox councillor Juan Carlos Cuevas, register the no-confidence motion at Mijas town hall. SUR
Vote of no confidence to put PP in power in Mijas, the province's main PSOE stronghold

Vote of no confidence to put PP in power in Mijas, the province's main PSOE stronghold

Ana Mata will be the new mayor after the pact between PP, Vox and Juan Carlos Maldonado, ousting Socialist Josele González from office

Antonio M. Romero


Friday, 20 October 2023, 13:12

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Just as new town councils across Spain are settling in after 117 days in office, this Wednesday saw a major upheaval on the political scene in the province of Malaga. The Partido Popular (PP) is to take control of Mijas town hall after registering a vote of no confidence in the current local government.

In order to oust Socialist mayor Josele González, the conservative PP has pacted the support of hard-right party Vox and former mayor Juan Carlos Maldonado, who stood for election in May with the independent Por Mi Pueblo party.

The motion that will force the vote of no confidence was signed before a notary and registered at Mijas town hall on Wednesday morning. The vote, due to take place on 2 November, will give Mijas its first ever female mayor, the PP's Ana Mata.

Following this week's pact, Mata will be elected as mayor thanks to the votes of the PP's nine councillors and Vox's three, plus Maldonado's, together making an absolute majority.

Maldonado has until now been second deputy mayor under González after he, along with the two councillors from his former party Ciudadanos, gave his support to the PSOE (10 councillors) following the municipal elections.

The aim of the agreement is to "end the financial chaos and retrogression" of the local government under Josele González, who, according to the motion, has turned Mijas into "a personal political launch pad and a platform at the service of the PSOE", said a statement after the vote was registered.

Ana Mata said: "We have to pull this town out of the paralysis it has suffered in recent years and recover good management and transparency in the municipal accounts," adding that under the Socialists they were "heading for ruin".

Her message to the people of Mijas was one of calm, trust and hope: "This is a government that is going to return hope and pride to the locals, a government that will work to turn Mijas into a great benchmark for development, progress and prosperity on the Costa del Sol and in Andalucía, taking the leading role it should, being the third biggest town in Malaga province."

Vox spokesperson in Mijas Eloy Belmonte said that the move was "a call to action, driven by the urgency of rescuing Mijas from incompetence and restoring a government that really works for the people of Mijas".

Maldonado, whose role in the motion was key as his vote would tip the balance in either direction, made no statement on Wednesday.

Mayor Josele González learned of the vote of no confidence during a Diputación (provincial authority) meeting, where he is the PSOE spokesperson.

He hit out at the signatories of the motion on social media: "Let nobody declare victory, I'm not leaving Mijas, whatever happens, in 2027 I'll stand for election again and justice will be done."

González said that being mayor of his town had been "the greatest honour of my life" and added: "A few months ago I won the municipal elections, I received the support for our management from my people; the PSOE and Ciudadanos have been able to provide stability, management and solutions."

The PSOE-Ciudadanos councillors later released a statement in which they described the motion as ridiculous and accused Mata of not knowing Mijas as she is from Fuengirola.

The move comes as a huge blow to the PSOE as Mijas was the one remaining Socialist stronghold that the party had managed to retain in Malaga province after May's municipal election. Mijas was also the PSOE's third most important town hall in terms of population in Andalucía, following Dos Hermanas in Seville and San Fernando in Cadiz. In Malaga province Cártama is now the biggest town hall to be in the hands of the Socialist party.

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