Grotesque politics in Madrid

2 min
The president of the Comunitat de Madrid, Isabel Díaz Ayuso, at the Puerta del Solo

The citizens of Madrid have gone to sleep this Wednesday without knowing whether there is an election called for May 4 to elect a new regional Assembly or whether there will be a motion of censure against president Isabel Diaz Ayuso. The legal rigmarole is so great that it will most likely be the justice system who will have to decide, in scenes which up until now were only accustomed to seeing in Catalonia.

However, the staging of the crisis had more to do with a farce than anything else. The detonator was the motion of censure agreed in Murcia between Ciudadanos and PSOE to dislodge the People's Party from the autonomous community and the City Council. It was a movement limited to Murcia, but Ayuso interpreted it as the prelude to a similar pact in Madrid and wanted to defuse the move by calling a snap election. The problem is that the decree does not come into force until tomorrow, when it will be published in the official gazette. That is why the PSOE and Más Madrid took advantage of it to present two motions of censure in the Assembly and thus short-circuit Ayuso's plans. The Assembly's Bureau met and accepted the motions of censure, so now it will be necessary to decide what is valid: the election call or the motions of censure. The image that Madrid has given, however, is pitiful, of clear discredit.

If there are finally elections, however, we already know with what message and with which partners Ayuso will run. This Wednesday she already said that the people of Madrid will have to choose between "socialism and freedom", as if we were in a Venezuelan-style authoritarian regime. And the only partner she will have to form a government will be the far right of Vox, which must have been delighted and called for elections also in Andalusia and Castilla y Leon. The possibility of a Trump-style coalition government between the PP and Vox in Madrid is now a very real possibility, especially given the division and dispersion of candidates on the left. What can be anticipated is that Ciudadanos will be reduced to the minimum expression, as has already happened in Catalonia.

For this reason, Wednesday's movement threatens to provoke an internal implosion: a rebellion by the leaders who defend the pacts with the PP and the hard line of opposition to the Sánchez-Iglesias government against the line imposed by Arrimadas. In this sense, Ciudadanos' leader is a victim of the strategy that she applied when she was in Catalonia, that of tension and identitarian clash, which were the breeding ground for the growth of the extreme right. And it has been shown that the modern and centrist Spain between the PSOE and the PP that she defended did not exist or is minoritarian.

The crisis once again benefits the interests of Pedro Sánchez, who with a single move can get rid of the two PP leaders who have been most critical of him, the president of Murcia Fernando López Miras and Madrid's Díaz Ayuso. It remains to be seen, however, if he can take advantage of it.