If Ciudadanos was already a powder keg before the Catalan elections, the result of going from 36 to 6 seats and losing almost a million votes has served to set it on fire. And everything indicates that today there will be explosions. There is a growing critical sector within the formation that demands to purge political responsibilities for the hecatomb and that it takes the immediate resignations of Carlos Cuadrado, the de facto number two of the Executive, and Jose Maria Espejo. However, the president of the orange party, Inés Arrimadas, does not seem because of the work of delivering those heads and tries to stop the pressure by endorsing the result to Albert Rivera, ensuring that they have had the same vote in Catalonia as in the general elections of 10 November 2019.
The national directorate of Citizens is summoned today in Madrid at 7:00 p.m. for an “urgent” meeting, in which despite the epidemiological situation of the coronavirus, presence is requested. A great discussion is expected there, although a growing number of public officials are already demanding the resignations of Cuadrado and Espejo. If they cast up and do not leave, then some even verbalize the call for an extraordinary congress as the only way out. Arrimadas has emphasized this Monday in an interview on Onda Cero that she thinks “to go ahead” leading the project and has assured that she has the “support of the party.” In this sense, he has spoken out against resignations or dismissals within the Executive. “I believe that if this solved the problem we would be in another scenario, but we already see that it does not,” he said, arguing that he already assumed responsibilities “a year ago” with the departure of Albert Rivera and his main collaborators.
It is precisely that reaction that Rivera had after the hit of 10-N that critics recall today to ask for an example. Because it was immediate and led to an extraordinary congress. The main members of his team (Villegas, De Paramo, Hervias, or Girauta) left with him. It is said that the then leader of Cs had lost 60% of the votes between the general elections of April and those of November. And that now between the Catalan autonomous regions of 2017 and 2021 the fall has been 86%. With a “worse” result, they ask themselves, “who is going to resign?”, “Or are they going to keep holding on to the chair?” Of course, the center of his criticism is mainly Cuadrado, who has been the campaign manager and who is also blamed by everyone for having “monopolized control” and establishing “despotic” forms that are generating deep discomfort.
Arrimadas tries to appease those pressures. Asked about the causes of the result, the president of Cs has indicated that in the general elections of 10-N they already obtained a similar percentage of the vote in Catalonia with Rivera and that it is unreal to compare the results of now with those of 2017 because they were not in the same situation, but “in that percentage of the vote”. “We did not come from the 36 seats, but from 10-N,” he insisted.
Ciudadanos justifies its collapse in the low participation, emphasizing that it has penalized the constitutionalists and, within that bloc, the orange party. Thus, of the little self-criticism that is made, there is only the lament for not having been able to mobilize its electorate.
Arrimadas has spoken of “other factors” but always linked to the mobilization and not to other decisions. Such as the difficulty of motivating the electorate after having offered a joint list to the PSC and PP in vain, which was rejected by both. We must move forward, with force, this is not a party that does the easy thing but the right thing,” he said about the future, and said that with “humility” and “learning from mistakes” he will continue to claim that Ciudadanos is a party “very necessary” for Spain.
PRESSURE FROM ANDALUSIA AND CATALONIA
The firmness and depth of the self-criticism and the decisions taken in the Executive this afternoon will be decisive to know how far a tension that has been palpitating in the party for a long time rises. Four Andalusian deputies have publicly spoken in favor of assuming some kind of self-criticism, who have asked to assume “responsibilities” and acknowledge “mistakes. One is the deputy spokesman in the Andalusian Parliament, Fran Carrillo, who has written: “That being brave is not so expensive; that being a coward is not worth it. It is time to take responsibility.” Similarly, Enrique Moreno has said that “the time has come to make a deep and responsible self-criticism, assuming mistakes and turning them into opportunities.
“If there is still someone who has not realized that mistakes are being made, that is the one who must resign, because he is the one who is committing them,” said the deputy for Granada Juan de Dios Sanchez. For her part, Concha Insúa has also asked: “to recognize mistakes, which is very healthy.”From Catalonia, several former deputies in the Parliament of Catalonia have released a statement under the name of the Renovadores group, also claiming to assume responsibilities and for “leadership changes at the national level and in Catalonia”, as well as a “deep regeneration” internally. His thesis is that the result is the consequence of “a series of mistakes and strategic and communication, leadership, and management errors” committed in recent years that “culminate in a failed electoral campaign.
In statements to Antena 3, collected by press, the leader of CS in Catalonia, Carlos Carrizosa, has affirmed that he is not going to resign and that “nothing is solved by opening a crisis in the party. Following the line of Arrimadas, he has said that “practically the same result” has been achieved in percentage as in 10-N and has ruled out possible mergers with the PP, a party with even more “meager” results -3 deputies- than the oranges in the autonomic of this Sunday in Catalonia.