Galician president confirms People's Party leadership bid

Alberto Núñez Feijóo set to replace Pablo Casado, who will not seek reelection after accusing Madrid regional president of nepotism 

Galicia's president, Alberto Núñez Feijóo, on March 1, 2022 (by Andrea Zamorano)
Galicia's president, Alberto Núñez Feijóo, on March 1, 2022 (by Andrea Zamorano) / ACN

ACN | Barcelona

March 2, 2022 07:13 PM

Alberto Núñez Feijóo, the president of Galicia, a region in Spain's northwest, has officially announced his intention to replace Pablo Casado as People's Party (PP) leader.

"I feel obliged to put myself at the disposal of my party and my country in order to ensure the solid, serene, reliable and financially sound government that Spain needs," he said in a speech on Wednesday afternoon.

"I think I can, with a united party, achieve our goal" of forming the next Spanish government, Feijóo said, to applause from party colleagues. "Spain is waiting for us and in the PP it will find the party to govern," he said.

Earlier on Wednesday, Feijóo suggested he would run for the post after having considered it for a while, but at the same time called it "hasty."

"I would never have thought I would have to make this decision, but the fact that events have quickly unfolded in the past few weeks is forcing me to do so," he said. "There comes a moment in life in which one has to make decisions."

The Spanish conservatives will pick a new leader in an extraordinary party convention to be held on April 2 and 3, announced by the current leader, Pablo Casado.

Casado, the current leader of opposition in Spain, will not seek re-election, after facing almost unanimous pressure from the conservatives' regional officials to quit.

Casado in the spotlight

Casado has been in the spotlight for several weeks after having accused the president of the Madrid region, Isabel Díaz Ayuso, of helping her brother benefit from the emergency sale of face masks during the first months of the pandemic – and allegedly having orchestrated espionage against her to prove it. 

Díaz Ayuso is a senior member of the PP and one of its most popular figures, especially after having prioritized the economy over imposing restrictions during the Covid-19 crisis. This contributed to the continued reign of the party in the Madrid region after the 2021 election, which saw them obtain their best result in 10 years.

Núñez Feijóo, four consecutive absolute majorities in Galicia

Most of the senior party members who urged Casado to step down had asked Núñez Feijóo to run for the party leadership at the convention sceduled for early April. 

One of the best-regarded regional PP leaders, he has been the president of Galicia since 2009 and has won four consecutive absolute majorities in regional elections there.

He decided against bidding for the party leadership in 2018 when Spanish president Mariano Rajoy stepped down after being ousted from his post by the Socialist Party in a motion of no confidence.