Municipals in Tortosa

Municipals in Tortosa: Meritxell Roigé assumes the acronym of Junts and faces the threat of a left-wing pact

The key

Meritxell Roigé, the key figure of the PDeCAT, presents himself with the local brand Junts per Tortosa, and in the coalition, finally, with Junts per Catalunya. It intends to retain the mayor’s office that has had the space of the old Convergència since 2007. After a minority mandate and the PSC leaving the government, the main opposition party, Movem ( En Comú Podem ), and the Socialists present a joint list that aspires to win the elections.

How is the City Hall now?

Together Tortosa has 7 councilors and governs in a minority. From January 2020 to October 2022 there was a government pact with the PSC (3 councilors), which also did not reach an absolute majority. Now the socialists are in the opposition, led by Movem, a candidacy linked to En Comú Podem (5). Also in opposition are ERC (3), Cs (1), and CUP (1).

The Electoral Battle

The votes obtained in 28M by the mayoress of Tortosa, Meritxell Roigé, a prominent figure of the PDeCAT, will end up being counted as votes for Junts per Catalunya. The reunification of the post-convergent space in Tortosa has ended up being done in a practical way and is explained in three acts :

Act one 2021. Roigé joins Àngels Chacón ‘s lists in the elections to the Parliament of Catalonia and maintains the alignment with his predecessor in office, Ferran Bel, the deputy in Congress for PDeCAT.

Act two. 2022. After the defeat of the PDeCAT, Roigé sets up his own party, which is precisely called Junts per Tortosa, and in the presentation, he emphasizes that it has “no connection with other national political projects”.

Act three. 2023. Junts per Tortosa signs an agreement with Junts per Catalunya whereby Roigé’s party and Turull’s party run in coalition in the elections, and at the national level, Roigé’s ballots are counted as votes for Junts.

Minority Government and attempted censure motion

First Bel and then Roigé have won the last four elections in Tortosa, but the 2019 elections, with fairer results, have been a headache for the mayoress throughout her term.

Together (7 councilors), who governed with ERC in the previous mandate, agreed this time with the PSC (3). But even then they did not reach the absolute majority, which is 11 councilors. The most important crisis was due to the approval of the 2022 budget. The government did not have enough votes, and the mayor submitted a motion of confidence, which she lost. The main opposition party, Movem (5 councilors), the local brand of En Comú Podem, tried to force a motion of no confidence with ERC (3) and the CUP (1). But the republicans rejected it because without the PSC they did not add up.

The PSC changes its leader and breaks with Junts

Finally, the PSC has ended up leaving the government and has joined forces with Movem for the 28M.

The first deputy mayor, Enric Roig, resigned from the position on October 18, noting that the three socialist councilors continued to be part of the municipal government. But two days later the PSC broke the agreement and walked out. The following month, Roigé appointed Enric Roig as the coordinator of the Tortosa Smart City project.

The new socialist leader, URV professor Víctor Grau, started the pre-campaign with the slogan “Now yes: the time for change has come”, saying that, after 16 years of government by CiU and Junts, ” Tortosa must turn the page and open a new chapter, truly progressive with left-wing policies.”

Movem-PSC coalition, with Jordi Jordan number one

The new harmony between Movem and PSC has ended up being translated into a joint list that has been presented with the slogan ” Guanya Tortosa “. The two parties run in coalition in the municipal elections with the intention of winning and promoting change. The number one candidate is the current leader of the opposition, professor Jordi Jordan, deputy of En Comú Podem in the Parliament of Catalonia. For the configuration of the County Council and the Provincial Council, and for national statistics, the votes for the joint candidacy will count as votes for the PSC.

Jordan defends the rehabilitation of the houses in the historic center, the creation of the first public nursery school in Tortosa, a new school in the Remolins neighborhood, and the promotion of a new hospital in the city, beyond the already planned expansion of the Virgin of the Ribbon, which has citizen support, with more than 22,000 signatures collected.

Xavier Faura, ERC candidate

For ERC, the lawyer Xavier Faura, president of the Baix Ebre County Council, repeats as a candidate. He also adopts the banner of change, which he considers necessary “after 16 years of government by the same”, and therefore proposes to promote “cohesion”, build “a kinder city” and “recover the illusion”.

The CUP bets on Sergi Arnau

The CUP also encourages the left-wing alliance but believes that, with the agreement with the PSC, Movem has given up on making truly transformative policies in Tortosa, and that is why it claims to play an important role in the next council. The candidate is the economist and social worker Sergi Arnau, current councilor at the City Council. He says that “it is necessary to favor a change of progressive government” in Tortosa to make “a turnaround and improve the material living conditions of the people”.

Application to save the Monument

Ciutadans has a councilor in plenary, the engineer Miquel Albacar . Now he has joined the state leadership of the party and intends to continue in the City Council again leading the candidacy of the oranges.

And Rubén Espuny, ex-number 3 of Ciutadans, leads a candidacy in defense of the Francoist monument of the Ebro, now threatened by the new Law of Democratic Memory. The organizations promoting the list, Tortosins for the Monument and the Collective for the Reinterpretation of the Monument of the Battle of the Ebro, deny any ties to political parties and say that the only thing that moves them is “reinforcing the legal protection of the monument” and that the will of the people, expressed in the 2016 consultation, be maintained.

Read also: The Government saves the drought decree with only the votes in favor of ERC and the abstention of PSC, Junts Per Catalunya, Cup, and Comunes

Roigé vindicates the work of the Government

Faced with the possible alliance of left-wing parties, Roigé trusts in a large majority of Junts that endorse his political bets: the pacification of the center and the reform of the Town Hall Square, the works in the Cathedral Square, the expansion of the museum and the projects already on track to make an athletics track in Jesús and to remodel Carrer Cervantes and Avenida de la Generalitat once the council has recovered the former Renfe land.

The mayor also underlines the success of the industrial policy, especially for the installation of the Florette companies, for packaged vegetables, which already employs 130 people, and Kronospan, which manufactures wooden boards and which promises 185 jobs to work.

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