The Socialist party have dissolved the pact that ruled the Cabildo for the last two years, leaving the Coalición Canaria (CC) party and Cabildo President Pedro San Ginés in a minority.
The rupture could herald a new era in politics in the Canaries.”
The Secretary General of the Lanzarote Socialists, María Dolores Corujo, said that “the refusal of San Ginés and the CC to provide an adequate response to the legal situation of the President has made the situation impossible.” Corujo was referring to the recent indictment of San Ginés in a court case relating to the forced closure of a desalination plant owned by Club Lanzarote in Playa Blanca.
The Socialists also expressed disagreement with the CC’s management of the recent strike at the Centres of Art, Culture and Tourism (CACTs) on the island, which saw some of Lanzarote’s most important tourist attractions closed to tourists for four weeks.
The strike came to an end after all the opposition parties in the Cabildo voted for an emergency general meeting to discuss the claims of the CACTs workers. However, strikers have not ruled out a return to strike action if the meeting fails to offer a satisfactory outcome, which mainly relates to unpaid wages.
The Socialists have ruled out any chances of a no-confidence vote to unseat San Ginés, and have also pledged to continue working with the CC in Ayuntamientos such as Arrecife and San Bartolomé.
Until recently, the five Socialist councillors had ruled in conjunction with the seven CC members and one elected representative of the PIL, forming a majority of 12 of the 23 Cabildo seats available. Now, however, the CC will find it increasingly difficult to push through legislation.
As is often the case, there may also be a Canarian dimension to the dissolution of the pact. In the Canarian Government, the Socialists withdrew from the pact they had reached with the CC, leaving Canarian President Fernando Clavijo also ruling in a minority. The recently-elected Canarian Socialist leader, Ángel Víctor Torres, is also reported to be far less patient with the CC than his predecessor.
Pedro San Ginés has been the President of Lanzarote’s Cabildo for over six years now, making him one of the longest-lasting occupants of the post in recent years.
His intelligence, charm and youth are undoubtedly part of the reason for his longevity in a notoriously unstable post, but San Ginés has also received his fair share of criticism in his time as Lanzarote’s leading politician.
His opponents accuse him of arrogance and high-handedness. While ruling in a minority may limit his powers, the absence of any serious opposition candidates to unseat him means that San Ginés is likely to remain at the forefront of Lanzarote life for some time to come.