ELECTIONS 28M: Rosa Cardona becomes Xàbia’s first female mayor

However, the historic moment has been overshadowed by accusations by the opposition that it has only become possible because of “a shameful deal”.

Friday 16th June 2023
Mike Smith

Partido Popular’s ROSA CARDONA will be sworn in as Xàbia’s first ever female mayor this Saturday. But the historic moment has been overshadowed by a war of words in the wake of the announcement of PP’s coalition pact with Cuidadanos por Jávea (CPJ) and Vox which the opposition has called “a shameful deal”.

In the local elections that took place on Sunday 28th May, José Chulvi’s PSOE attracted the most votes to claim 9 seats on the council. However, a resurgence in support for PP saw the blue vote increase by almost two-thirds on 2019 which resulted in Rosa Cardona’s party claiming 8 seats. With CPJ winning two and Vox and Compromís winning one each, this left PSOE with a winning majority but not an absolute majority. The fate of the town’s management would be decided on the negotiating table and the key was Mavi Perez and the CPJ.

Within days, La Marina Plaza claimed that a deal was already being brokered which would see a coalition pact between PP, CPJ and Vox that would amount to the 11 seats needed for an absolute majority. Both the PP and CPJ released official statements claiming otherwise. Yet, two weeks later, an official statement from the PP confirmed that an agreement had been signed and that Rosa Cardona would take over at the helm of the local council.

The statement read that the PP had reached two separate agreements, one with CPJ and one with Vox, in order to take over at the town hall. The fact that there are two separate deals is important to note; an editorial in La Marina Plaza claims that this is because CPJ had refused to sit down with the far-right Vox candidate José Marcos Pons, they signed an agreement with PP only.

So now, the editorial points out, Xàbia will be managed by a government board “in which two of its three coalition partners don’t talk to each other” and accused all three parties of lacking transparency. “Why hide something as beautiful and as stimulating as an agreement to transform your town and make it better? All of Xàbia deserves more respect.”

It also noted that, as yet, there has not even been a photo of the three party leaders to celebrate the pact, even though coalitions elsewhere in the Marina Alta, such as Dénia and Calp, where photos were released almost as soon as the deals were signed.

But the war of words has not been restricted to the press. An official statement from the PSOE called the agreement “the pact of shame” and lamented the first entry of the extreme right into a town hall in the Marina Alta. In addition, José Chulvi claimed that the CPJ had broken its rule of giving its support to the party which achieves the most votes and accused the independents of signing a pact “that they are ashamed of and that is why they have dedicated themselves to hiding it and trying to confuse the people. It is an agreement that denotes distrust and rejection between the signatories; one only has to see the efforts that the members of the new tripartite PP-VOX-CPJ have made not to appear together.”

Chulvi added that “Mavi Pérez wanted the first feminist government and what she has achieved is the first government team with an extreme right councilor, representative of a political party that denies gender violence and climate change” and pledged that, from June 18th, the PSOE will be a vigilant and serious opposition.

CPJ responded by calling out Chulvi as a liar over his claims that the CPJ always supported the party with the most votes. “In the plenary session of June 15, 2019, CPJ did not support the candidate on the most voted list (PSOE), and the reason was because the necessary conditions of confidence were not met for our vote to go to Jose Chulvi,” adding that “that same distrust has not been dispelled over the past four years”.

The statement said that CPJ representatives held talks with both parties – PP and PSOE – and that, after studying the options offered, decided to sign a pact with the PP for the next four years. “We have made this decision because we believe that the PP is the party that, from respect for our electoral program, offers us the greatest guarantee of participation in municipal management and will allow us to work to achieve our objective of improving Xàbia.”

It is noticeable that the CPJ statement made no mention of Vox.

At 11.00am tomorrow (Saturday), the new council will be constituted and Rosa Cardona will become Xàbia’s first ever female mayor. It is a historic moment that should be celebrated but is being overshadowed by a savage war of words between parties and the newspapers. Cardona’s first cabinet meeting is on Monday and, as the editorial in La Marina Plaza notes, it’s going to be “difficult”.

What does Cardona promise the people of Xàbia?

In the statement from PP, it confirmed that it had reach two separate agreements, one with CPJ and one with Vox, which “regulate the framework of action to manage and plan, from transparency and participation, the Xàbia Council”, adding that it is a roadmap that “will serve as the basis to provide opportunities to undertake and promote all sectors of the local economy, addressing housing needs and the projects necessary to improve the services and facilities of Xàbia.

The statement added that “both documents lay the foundations of a project that provides stability and guarantees the governability of Xàbia for the next 4 years” and will include the following objectives:

  • Transparent management and recovery of citizen participation.
  • Social policies, child protection, adolescence, health and mental health as basic pillars.
  • Advance in education, professional training and opportunities for young people.
  • Promotion of entrepreneurship, employment and revitalization of all sectors of the economy of Xàbia.
  • More security in the streets and improvement of Citizen Attention Office to reach the three urban centres.
  • Quality and sustainable tourism with our environment.
  • Adapt the transport and mobility of Xàbia to current needs and execute infrastructures to be more sustainable and efficient.
  • Sustainable urban planning towards a Compact City model, which meets the housing needs for young people and families, as well as sports facilities, schools and other services.
  • Setting up of cleaning, adaptation of parks and gardens and other municipal services.
  • Promotion and improvement of sports, cultural and fiesta management.
  • Boost to the primary sector of Xàbia.