Barcelona's Socialist deputy mayor steps down to focus on local election

Jaume Collboni: "I will return to town hall as mayor"

Barcelona deputy mayor Jaume Collboni in a December 2022 press conference
Barcelona deputy mayor Jaume Collboni in a December 2022 press conference / Blanca Blay
Catalan News

Catalan News | @catalannews | Barcelona

January 23, 2023 09:18 AM

January 23, 2023 08:21 PM

Jaume Collboni has decided to step down as Barcelona's deputy mayor on February 1 to focus on the upcoming May 2023 local election in which he will be running on the Socialist ticket. 

"I will return to the town hall as mayor," the politician, who also oversees the council's Economy, Work, Competitiveness and Finance Department, said in a press conference from his party's headquarters in Barcelona around midday. "I need to dedicate all my time and energy toward achieving this goal," he said. 

All other parties criticize decision

Opposition leader Ernest Maragall, of left-wing pro-independence Esquerra Republicana, was the first to react to the news by describing it as "a desperate way to try to get out of the responsibilities he's shared these past four years," referring to the Socialist's coalition with mayor Ada Colau's En Comú Podem.

"It very clearly seems like he feels the need to distance himself from the things that he himself created and decided on," Maragall, who is running again this year, added in an interview with SER Catalunya.

In the May 2019 election, Maragall won as many seats but more votes than Colau, who ended up forming a coalition with Collboni's Socialists, who came in third, with the backing of former French prime minister Manuel Valls' Barcelona pel Canvi (now Valents). 

Barcelona's deputy mayor, Jaume Collboni, has stepped down to focus on the mayoral race, deemed to be very close / Catalan News

Maragall was far from the only politician to criticize Collboni's decision — in fact, all other parties in the local council, including the Socialists' coalition partner En Comú Podem, only had negative things to say about it.

While Colau's party called it an "irresponsible" move driven by fear, Junts candidate Xavier Trias said it was a "spectacular failure," the People's Party called it "selfish" and Valents argued it demonstrated Collboni's inability to position himself as an anti-Colau candidate.  

May 2023 local elections

The 2023 local elections will take place on May 28. 

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All Spanish citizens over the age of 18, as well as adult EU residents and those from 13 countries with voting agreements with Spain, will be able to cast their ballots. 

How to vote in the local elections if you're not a Spanish citizen

Residents from Bolivia, Cape Verde, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Iceland, Norway, Paraguay, Peru, South Korea, Trinidad and Tobago, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom had until January 15, 2023 to register to vote, while those from EU countries still have until January 30.