THE leader of Spain’s main conservative opposition party looked set to resign after his supporters appeared to abandon him in droves.
His role at the head of the Popular Party seemed untenable after a bitter clash with party rival Isabel Diaz Ayuso, who has been positioning herself to take over leadership of Spain’s main right-wing party.
This week has so far seen a spate of resignations from the party executive as Casado’s supporters jumped ship and an angry public protest outside PP headquarters in Madrid demanding that he resign.
Spain’s right wing press has also turned against the 41-year-old clamouring for him to step down to stem the bleeding at the heart of the PP.
On Wednesday, party leaders from regions across Spain will hold a crisis meeting with reports that they are expected to demand Casado steps aside.
PP heavyweight Alberto Nuñez Feijoo, the conservative president of Galicia region, has publically spoken out against Casado insisting that he must go to save the party from collapse.
Feijoo, 60, who has won four consecutive absolute majorities in the northwestern region is expected to step in as a transitional figurehead during the process to select the next party leader.
The row blew up last week after Casado was accused of waging a smear campaign against his popular rival with allegations that he had hired private detectives to dig up dirt on her.
He publically accused Ayuso, the president of the Madrid region who has enjoyed a huge surge in popularity thanks to her stance during the pandemic, of corruption after it emerged a lucrative face mask deal had been awarded to an acquaintance of her brother.
She denies wrongdoing, although an investigation into the allegations has been launched.
The vast majority of right-wing voters are on her side, according to a poll commissioned by the El Confidencial newspaper, with 71% of PP supporters calling for her to lead the party compared with just 14.5% for Casado.
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