GALICIA president, Alberto Nuñez Feijoo, has officially put himself forward as the next leader of Spain’s conservative Partido Popular.
The Galician leader has been the only name in the frame to replace Pablo Casado as leader of Spain’s main opposition political party after Casado was forced to announce his resignation last month after an internal rift.
Casado, 41, was ousted after a feud with PP Madrid region president, Isabel Diaz Ayoso, amid allegations of a smear campaign orchestrated by him against the outspoken regional leader.
Virtually all of the PP’s regional leaders called for Casado’s removal with Feijoo’s name trumpeted as his successor.
Alberto Nuñez Feijoo, 60, was a candidate to succeed former leader Mariano Rajoy in 2018 but surprised observers by dropping out of the race.
Speaking on Wednesday, Feijoo said: ”This is a decision that I never thought I would have to make which has neither been sought or coveted.”
“There are moments in life when you have to make decisions and when you have one to make, you have to make it quickly,” he added.
He stated that he would continue as Galicia president through March and April.
The PP is holding a special meeting on April 1 and 2 where Casado will formally leave.
It’s not clear if a formal leadership contest will take place or whether Feijoo will simply be anointed as leader.
Over Feijoo, Murcia president, Fernando Lopez Miras, said: “He is the only one who can unite the party and heal the wounds.”
There has been criticism that Pablo Casado failed to make any inroads into opinion poll leads held by the PSOE-Socialist party under Pedro Sanchez.
Another concern is the ‘drift’ of former PP voters, like in the recent Castilla y Leon regional elections, to the far-right Vox party.
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