Friday, 23 June 2023, 11:00
The conservative Partido Popular (PP) is now in charge in councils covering 84% of the population of Malaga province. There are 26 mayors new in the job in the 103 municipalities in the province and five have returned to power after some years in opposition.
On Saturday last week the new councils were officially sworn in across Malaga province including the Costa del Sol, along with those throughout the rest of Spain.
13 of the 16 municipalities with over 20,000 residents in the province are now PP controlled
11% is the amount of people in Malaga province who will have a PSOE mayor this time round
21 of the 103 mayors in Malaga province are women, one more than last time
Among the biggest municipalities in the province, the Socialist PSOE, the second place party locally after May's elections, only controls the towns of Mijas and Cártama.
The biggest, long-standing names in town halls locally took up the reins of power again last weekend for the next four years. These included Malaga city's veteran mayor, Francisco de la Torre, who at 80 has been in power since 2000.
Also returning was Ángeles Muñoz in Marbella who won an absolute majority. Commenting on her investiture, an emotional Muñoz, who has been mayor since 2007 with a gap of two years, said, "The PP has won in all the districts of Marbella, which means we can carry out a strong and stable government."
She reaffirmed her commitment to getting the new master town plan ready as soon as possible.
Muñoz warned that, now the Diputación provincial authority, local town hall and regional government are all in the hands of PP, and possibly central government as well after the upcoming general election in July, it was time to solve traditional problems on the Costa del Sol such as the overload of the A-7 coastal road.
In neighbouring Estepona, José María García Urbano, who has been in power for the PP since 2011, promised to go further with the "historic change of Estepona".
"We have the duty to give Estepona the best four years in its history," he explained. He said he would be aiming to bring a university to Estepona and work on improving the outlying areas of the municipality.
García Urbano's son has also joined the council as a PP councillor.
The PP has majorities in 40 of the 103 Malaga province councils and took over seven new mayoralities. In the 16 municipalities with over 20,000 people living in them, the party has 13 of them.
The PSOE still has 37 towns or villages, but these are mostly smaller, more rural ones and so only 11% of the population is covered by that party's mayors. This includes Josele González at the head of Mijas as expected, the second biggest municipality now still under Socialist control in all of Andalucía.
As expected, the PP lost control of Alhaurín el Grande after 23 years in that Guadalhorce valley town. Anthony Bermúdez was sworn in as mayor last Saturday with his left-of-centre 100% Alhaurín party and the support of the PSOE and Izquierda Unida.
"There is no place for cronyism any longer in the town hall," said the new mayor.
Of the 103 mayors in Malaga province, 21 are women, one more than last time. There were big majorities for two women mayors running in key towns in the province.
In Fuengirola, Ana Mula secured 15 councillors with the second place PSOE taking only 5. "Today we start to strengthen the new Fuengirola," Mula said last Saturday.
In Torremolinos, PP mayor Margarita del Cid, who had been governing with a minority before May's vote, was sworn in with an overall majority and 17 councillors, up from 9 last time.
Maurice Jonker was sworn in as a councillor for the Por mi Pueblo (PMP) party in Cómpeta on Sunday. The party won six seats at the election which gave them overall majority and Maurice was fifth on the list. Originally from South Africa, Maurice has lived in Spain for 33 years and has been in Cómpeta for five years.
He explained to SUR in English that his responsibilities are assisting the foreign community, which makes up "48 per cent" of the population. He is also in charge of communication and said he likes the fact that the party is not left or right-wing but "a good mix" of people.
Ian Rutter has made history in Moclín (Granada province) by becoming the first foreign resident to win a seat in the local elections. The PSOE gained absolute majority with seven councillors elected and Ian was number seven on the list.
He explained to SUR in English that he was approached to stand by the mayor ahead of the elections. He added, "It is with a mix of trepidation and tremendous excitement that I face the next four years as councillor with responsibility for tourism and heritage." Ian's name may be familiar to Talk Radio Europe listeners as he presented the Life Stories series for two years.
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