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Spain’s People’s Party meets in Barcelona amid internal crisis

Former minister Dolors Montserrat elected as PP spokesperson

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26 July 2018 12:31 PM

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ACN | Barcelona

The leaders of Spain’s People’s Party traveled to Barcelona on Thursday to hold the first executive meeting since electing Pablo Casado as the party’s head.

Casado’s main contester in the primaries, Soraya Sáenz de Santamaría, announced on the same day that she would not attend the conference, thus revealing internal tensions over the formation of PP’s new executive committee.

A member of Santamaría’s team said in a radio interview that Casado offered to include only two of her supporters in the party’s new leadership. “This does not properly reflect the convention results,” he said.

  • "The integration is a fact"

    Javier Maroto · PP member

Casado won 58% of the votes in last weekend’s convention, while Santamaría was voted for by 42% of the party members. She was also the most voted candidate in the first stage of the primaries.

Casado’s team played down the seriousness of any internal fractures and insisted that the new leadership will include those who backed Santamaría during the primaries. “The integration is a fact,” said Javier Maroto.

Casado chose Teodoro García as the party’s secretary general and Dolors Montserrat, a former minister, as the new spokesperson in the Spanish parliament.

It is not clear what Santamaría’s role will be, other than an MP. Formerly one of the most powerful politicians in Spain, she lost her post as vice president when the government was ousted following a motion of no confidence two months ago.

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  • PP leader Pablo Casado with runner-up Soraya Sáenz de Santamaría (by PP)

  • PP leader Pablo Casado with runner-up Soraya Sáenz de Santamaría (by PP)