Ayuso-Almeida, history repeats itself: when Gallardón was Rajoy’s stopper to Aguirre’s assault

As the famous Hegel quote dictates, later nuanced by Marx, all the great events and people in history happen twice. One of them, added the author of Capital, as a tragedy and another as a farce. With the war in the making for the control of the PP in Madrid, it seems, of course, that this will happen, although it is yet to be determined what gender to attribute it to.

The struggle between Isabel Diaz Ayuso -which has been making clear its aspiration to preside over the autonomous organization for some time, in the hands of a manager since the traumatic departure of Cristina Cifuentes placeholder image three years ago- and José Luis Martínez-Almeida, who still does not completely discard himself for the same position, remembers times past in the organization.

Specifically when, back in 2004, with a PP in full shock for the loss of power after the attacks of 11-M, Esperanza Aguirre and Alberto Ruiz-Gallardón they engaged in a bloody struggle for the autonomic power of the party.

Gallardón then served as a plug or firewall for Aguirre’s offensive against the Genoa leadership, a political cold war that had notorious episodes in the following years, both with Rajoy in opposition and, as of 2011, in La Moncloa.

Casado himself fueled the battle this week by avoiding in front of Ayuso and Almeida, at an informative breakfast in the capital, expressly supporting the regional president.

A turning point in the events of great relevance before the congress of the popular people of Madrid. Especially since months ago Genoa did not hesitate to support Ayuso’s suitability as the leader of the popular Madrilenians. The regional conclave does not yet have an exact date, although it will take place in the first semester of 2022, before the national congress of the PP.

The Gallardón-Aguirre war

This autumn marks seventeen years of when, in another start of the political course like the present one, the seams of the formation jumped through the air. On Thursday, October 7, the then number two of Gallardón, Manuel Cobo, announced his candidacy to lead the regional organization, in a list in which he inserted himself, and which was obviously sponsored by, the mayor of the capital.

Aguirre did not hesitate, that same day, to accuse him of “blackmail” and even, in the form of a rhetorical interrogation, launched the following taunt at Gallardón: “Why isn’t the mayor showing up? Because he knows I’m going to win.”

Ayuso and Almeida, at the informative breakfast this Tuesday.

Ayuso and Almeida, at the informative breakfast this Tuesday.


The following day, Friday, October 8, the war of the popular people of Madrid was on the national front page. “Gallardón announces his own list and Aguirre accuses him of ‘blackmail'” titled three columns The world, that in his main editorial of that day he asked both contenders to compete with “responsibility” and stated that “if Ruiz-Gallardón is wrong in not leading the candidacy himself and in saying that the official list is not very ‘centrist’, the aggressiveness shown by Esperanza Aguirre does not match very well with the liberal spirit of which she boasts “.

Just a week later, the Madrid president emerged victorious from the stake when Cobo withdrew his candidacy in the same surprising way in which he announced it. The candidate and his head of ranks, Gallardón, quoted Ernest Hemingway during a meeting of the Board of Directors of the PP in Madrid held on Friday, October 14, to affirm that they were “defeated, not defeated.”

Aguirre, Rajoy and Gallardón.

Aguirre, Rajoy and Gallardón.


Aguirre signed the armistice with an integrating tone, affirming that he would count “a lot” with Gallardón, although the relationship between the two would be forever marked by that dispute.

That of the mayor with the regional president; and that of Aguirre with Rajoy, whom he was close to, four years later and after his second defeat against Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero in the elections of 2008, to dispute the leadership to him in the congress celebrated in Valencia. Although on this occasion it was the former president of the Community of Madrid who retreated.

Ayuso will not back down

Almost two decades later, in the Ayuso environment they look precisely at the precedent of the autonomous leadership of the party exercised by Aguirre to justify that the presidency of the Puerta del Sol Government and that of the PP should be held by the same person.

As is the case, they point out, in the rest of the territorial organizations of the first opposition party, although the uniqueness of the city of Madrid is obvious, due to its great demographic and population weight in the Community of Madrid and the fact that it is, also, the capital of Spain.

A thesis that, they believed in Sol, was shared by Casado, as in fact public statements of the last few months by senior national leaders of the PP, including number two, made manifest, Teodoro Garcia Egea, showing his support for Ayuso to be the leader of Madrid.

Hence the “surprise” with which they admit that the head of the Government of the CAM lived the informative breakfast of Casado last Tuesday, which opened the political course in a certain way, and in which what she took for granted was stirred with the words of both the national leader and the Madrid councilor. All this with the three protagonists sharing a table and tablecloth in a hotel in Madrid, in full view of all the cameras.

In any case, sources close to Ayuso confirm to EL ESPAÑOL that there will be no going back, and that whatever happens, he will present his candidacy. Whether or not an alternative candidacy is promoted and whether or not he sponsors it, as Gallardón, Mayor Almeida, did in his day. Among the pools on that possible third or consensus candidacy is the current number two of the Madrid PP Manager, Ana Camins, a person very close to Casado.

Despite everything, Ayuso does not stop launching an inclusive message to the mayor, as the regional president herself did this Friday at a press conference after her interview in Toledo with her Castilian-La Mancha counterpart, Emiliano Garcia-Page.

“You will have all your hands free to do the excellent work you are doing,” he said regarding Almeida, a message insisted on by sources from his team: “The mayor will be very important, and will have great autonomy for everything that has to do with the party in the capital, especially with regard to the municipal elections of 2023 “.

Given the position of Ayuso, that yes or yes he will present his candidacy, what José Luis Martínez-Almeida does in the next few days or weeks will depend on whether the PP is immersed in a dispute like that of Aguirre and Gallardón seventeen years ago.


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