Sunday, 28 May 2023, 08:04
After fifteen days of election campaigning, the last word will be had this Sunday by the people. Their vote will select the candidates that will decide the future of their cities, towns and villages and draw the distribution map of local political power in Malaga province in the twelfth municipal elections of democracy in Spain.
Some 1,204,201 voters are called to the polls, including Spaniards resident in the province and citizens of the EU and the 13 countries with reciprocity agreements (Iceland, Norway, Cape Verde, Trinidad and Tobago, Bolivia, Colombia, Chile, Ecuador, Paraguay, Peru, Republic of Korea, United Kingdom and New Zealand) who have applied to vote.
On the ballot papers of these voters, 65,069 of whom are voting for the first time in a municipal election, having turned 18 since the previous local elections (2019), is the appointment of the 1,215 councillors to be elected in these elections, as well as the 103 mayors of as many municipalities and the councillors of the two autonomous local entities (ELA) of the province: Bobadilla Estación and Estación de Gaucín-El Colmenar.
They will be able to exercise their right to vote at the 600 polling stations that will open their doors from 9am until 8pm in a total of 1,736 polling stations, which will be staffed by 5,202 people - a president and two members - and where there will be 848 representatives of the administration. Security will be ensured by 3,584 officers, including members of the National Police, the Guardia Civil and Local Police forces.
A total of 52 parties, coalitions and groupings are running in these elections, with a total of 396 candidates, which is ten less than in 2019. The PP and PSOE are the only two parties running in the 103 municipalities and the two ELAs; Con Andalucía (the confluence of IU, Podemos and other left-wing parties) is running in 64; Vox in 37; Por Mi Pueblo, an independent and localist party, in 23; and Ciudadanos in fourteen.
Malaga city is where there is the greatest competition, with twelve lists competing, followed by Mijas with 10, Marbella and Vélez-Málaga with 9, and Benalmádena and Torremolinos with 8. An unusual case is Igualeja, in the Serranía de Ronda, where with 729 inhabitants, five parties are running.
The candidacies in the province are made up of a total of 6,754 Malaga citizens, some 5,560 of who are incumbents and the rest substitutes. Not all of them are militants of the parties under whose acronyms they are running, as they do so as independents; there are a total of 421 candidates who are incumbents, with the PP having the most candidates on its lists (165).
A total of 73.3% of the lists are headed by men and the remaining 26.3% by women, a figure that represents three points more than four years ago. In 33 municipalities, voters will only be able to choose their next councillor from among men, as all the candidates are headed by men. These are the cases of Alameda, Campillos, Fuente de Piedra, Humilladero, Villanueva de la Concepción, Villanueva del Rosario, Villanueva del Trabuco, Alfarnate, Alhaurín de la Torre, Alozaina, Cártama, Coín, Moclinejo, Benahavís, Casares, Jubrique, Manilva, Pujerra, Algatocín, Faraján, Gaucín, Jimera de Líbar, Júzcar, Montejaque, Yunquera, Arenas, Benamocarra, Canillas de Aceituno, Canillas de Albaida, Cútar, Iznate, Macharaviaya and La Viñuela.
In the opposite case is the town of Monda, where all four candidacies are headed by women, meaning that this municipality is sure to have a female mayor. The candidates are: María Remedios Fernández Martín, current councillor and who is running for re-election as head of the list of the Con Andalucía confluence; María Estela Beltrán Ruiz, from the PP; Ana Belén Arana González, from the PSOE; and Rocío Marín Ortega, from Vox.
The detail of the current distribution of local power in the province shows that the PSOE has the largest number of mayorships, with 51, which represents half of the total, but it is the PP who governs more Malaga residents, with 73.4%, seven out of every ten. The left (IU and Podemos, in coalition or alone) are at the head of a dozen municipalities; seven mayors are from independent parties (Alpandeire, Montejaque, Cortes de la Frontera - now the councillors are running for the PP; Benadalid; Benamocarra; Villanueva del Trabuco and Manilva); and one, Guaro, from Ciudadanos although he is now running for the PP.
As for the big towns, the PP are at the head of twelve: Malaga city, Torremolinos, Rincón de la Victoria, Nerja, Ronda - in these by means of pacts -, Marbella, Estepona, Fuengirola, Coín, Alhaurín de la Torre, Alhaurín el Grande and Antequera, alone; while the Socialists govern in Mijas, Benalmádena, Vélez-Málaga and Cártama, although only in the latter do they do so with an absolute majority.
The two major parties have had an uneven track record in the history of municipal elections. In the first local elections, the PP did not even run, as it did not yet exist as a party, and in 1983 and 1987 it did so as Alianza Popular. Although its debut as PP, in 1991, had minimal success on the map of the province, it has gradually extended its dominion over Malaga until it has taken over half of the map.
Despite the fact that, historically, the PSOE has always won in a greater number of territories than its competitor, in terms of population the balance is reversed. In previous municipal elections, the Partido Popular has been the most voted force in important fiefdoms. Winning in Malaga, Marbella, Rincón de la Victoria, Antequera or Vélez-Málaga has given the PP an unstoppable upward trend, and well above that of the PSOE, in terms of the total population that these won municipalities represent.
La Voz de Cádiz
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