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Deadline for democracy

Deadline for democracy

Neil Hesketh

Friday, 14 April 2023, 12:50


It is always good to have deadlines. The world runs better with them, forcing people to focus their minds, work together and get things done - hopefully not cutting too many corners on the way. The world of newspapers of course lives by deadlines; here at SUR in English we work under the sword of Damocles on print day, every Thursday.

For the local politicians who work in four-year cycles between elections to make things better for us, a big deadline for them has just passed, although most voters will not have realised.

Regular readers of this paper may well have been overawed in the last month or so with our giddy reporting on new projects from the town halls. From the opening of mundane roundabouts, through to important public facilities and glamorous cultural centres, it has seemed as if local councils have finally put their skates on.

While some projects are finished (just), some are at that rather vague "first phase" and some are "new" announcements of future plans (which sound somewhat familiar), they all have one common denominator: a photograph of a mayor or councillor grinning in front of the unveiling. From the 103 councils in Malaga province, there have been so many arriving in recent weeks we have had to agonise over which to feature for you, and many have been left on the 'cutting-room floor'.

Eagle-eyed readers will see the pages largely empty of them this week and we have turned our eyes to different stories to report on. Last week, time was up for the mayors as local elections were formally called for Sunday 28 May.

Game over. Finito. No longer is a mayor allowed to publicise a new project. All councils had been working overtime to meet that deadline. The deadline for the announcement that is, not necessarily for the completion of the project. For many of those electoral promises from four years ago, the eleventh-hour photo has been as good as it will get. It is up to voters now to decide if it has all been worth it.

There will be a bit of a lull for a few weeks as all the parties submit their candidates' names and the official election campaign begins on 12 May. Then our pages will spring to life again with news from those who wish to govern us.

Local elections in Spain are a true spectacle. All councils nationally - over 8,000 of them - are all chosen on the same Super Sunday.

Most readers will have the right to vote in the local elections and several councils will have international residents standing as candidates and who want your vote. Even if your interest in council activity is only awakened every four years when our pages fill up with unveilings of new roundabouts, stay with us for the next act. The greatest show of democracy is rolling into your town or village in the coming weeks.

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