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Juanma Moreno sworn in as president of the Junta de Andalucía

Juanma Moreno (PP) was sworn in on Friday as the regional president.
Juanma Moreno (PP) was sworn in on Friday as the regional president. / Agencies
  • The head of the regional PP will govern in coalition with centre-right Ciudadanos, ending almost 37 years of PSOE Socialist party control

Juanma Moreno was sworn in as the sixth president of the Junta de Andalucía regional government at a ceremony in Seville on Friday, attended by several senior PP figures including former prime minister Mariano Rajoy, current party leader Pablo Casado, as well as outgoing president, Susana Díaz (PSOE).

In his speech, Moreno promised to be a "loyal servant" of the government, putting "party-political battles to one side".

Former PM Mariano Rajoy (left) was one of several leading PP figures present.

Former PM Mariano Rajoy (left) was one of several leading PP figures present. / Agencies

The 48-year-old regional leader of the conservative Partido Popular received the votes of the MPs from his own party in the regional parliament in Seville on Wednesday, as well as those of centre-right Ciudadanos (Cs) and hard-right Vox. The total of 59 votes was enough to give Moreno a majority in the chamber and usher in a new coalition in regional government made up of the PP and Cs.

Voting against Moreno, with their total of 50 votes, was the Socialist PSOE and left-wingers Adelante Andalucía, made up of Izquierda Unida and Podemos.

The change to a PP president is the first time since Andalucía was granted devolved status from Madrid in 1982 that the PSOE will not be in charge of the Junta de Andalucía, following a drop in its support at December's regional election.

Andalucía is Spain's most populus region, with 8.4 million residents, and the Junta controls big-spending services such as the public health service, education and social care.

Moreno, who is from Malaga, faced accusations from outgoing president, Susana Díaz, during the investiture debate that he was, "going to be president because of the heirs to Franco", referring to the PP needing the 12 votes from the right-wing Vox, political newcomers that surprised everyone with their surge in last month's election.

Moreno with national party leader Pablo Casado.

Moreno with national party leader Pablo Casado. / Agencies

A moderate approach

However, Moreno was keen during the debate to stress the moderate nature of his future government.

"I am not going to label anyone. Vox is a new party that will define itself by the decisions it takes. My government will defend the variety of interests inside this parliament chamber. I will defend every group that is attacked."

"I am going to give everything so that the people of Andalucía can live better than they are at the moment," he said, referring to the historically higher-than-average unemployment figures in the region.

Moreno's vice-president in the PP and Cs coalition will be the regional leader of Cs, Juan Marín. Marín will also take on the Tourism portfolio, a key part of Andalucía's economy.

However, full details of the regional cabinet are not expected to be announced until Monday. What is known is that of the 11 planned regional ministries, six will go to the PP and five to Cs.

It has also been announced that the first cabinet meeting will be held in the Malaga town of Antequera on Friday, 25 January.

Antequera, roughly in the geographical centre of Andalucía, is a symbolic place in the region's politics after an all-party agreement signed there 40 years ago to seek devolved status from Madrid.