Pablo Casado arrived this Thursday at his office at the PP headquarters on Génova street in Madrid at mid-morning. He had left the building at almost three in the morning after a face-to-face meeting with his barons, in which they all told him personally that his stage was over.
Casado knew that the appointment with the regional leaders of the party was going to be very difficult and that is why he had prepared it thoroughly. Isabel Diaz Ayuso She was not invited because she does not lead the PP in Madrid, although her absence further underlined her leading role in the plot that has liquidated the authority of the PP president in record time. Her alliance with Alberto Nunez Feijooadvanced by EL PERIÓDICO, annulled any reaction capacity of Casado and his already former secretary general, Teodoro Garcia Egea.
The leader of the popular had studied “all scenarios.” “I went with different plans to raise them as the conversations were channeled,” admits a person from his circle of trust. Casado attended the meeting, which lasted more than four hours, as if it were a life and death negotiation. Because it really was: some wanted him to announce his political death at the end of the conclave.
The head of the popular party recalled that they were meeting in an advisory body of the president of the party that did not have executive power
The afternoon began shortly before half past seven, with a face-to-face meeting between Feijóo and Casado, in which the leader of the PP advanced, according to sources from his team, his desire to continue as party chairman until the extraordinary congress to be held on April 2 and 3. An hour and a half later, both joined the conclave with the regional presidents. Most of them, before entering, before the media, had asked the leader of the ranks to resign and had stressed the need to make decisions urgently.
Everyone gathered in the boardroom, at a long U-shaped table, Casado briefly took the floor and told them that he had already listened to the Galician president and that the time had come to find out what each and every one of them thought. He practiced the active listening, as a good negotiator. The leader of the PP, according to sources present, put up with the string of interventions and complaints for managing the clash with Ayuso, the “degradation“of the internal life of the party due to the decisions of García Egea these years and the mistake of having come with him as general secretary until the end (he had resigned the day before).
In fact, there were those who asked Casado if García Egea had really resigned from the post, because the party’s communication department did not confirm it to the press on Tuesday. The former number two demanded not to do it because he had agreed to announce it in a television interview. “Stupidity to the end”said a baron. Many welcomed the fact that “finally” he is no longer part of the PP leadership.
The still top leader of the Conservatives feels that he is experiencing a “very unfair situation”
The two main ideas that dominated the speeches of the vast majority, according to several of those present, were that “the stage of the current leadership, with Casado at the helm, was over” and that “Feijóo had to be the new president.”
Monago, the most belligerent
Among the leaders complaining about Casado, they highlighted the belligerence of Jose Antonio Monago (Extremadura) in the first place, according to several of the attendees, and also the tough attitude of Paco Nunez (Castile-La Mancha) and Maria Jose Saenz de Buruaga (Cantabria). Also striking was the roughness of Fernando Lopez Miras (Murcia) for some. Others, on the other hand, recalled that the Murcian leader encouraged his leader to close this stage as soon as possible so that he “stops suffering personally and politically.”
On the other hand, according to Genoa sources, the PP leader thought “reasonable“the attitude of Juanma Moreno (Andalusia). Already at the entrance of the meeting, the president of the Board asked to solve the internal crisis “with heart and head”. And inside he had a “constructive” attitude to soften the situation so that a roadmap agreed by all could come out.
After listening to everyone, the leader of the popular took the floor and, with “firmness”, announced that he did not intend to resign. “I have been able to make mistakes, yes, many, but I have not done anything wrong,” he said, as several attendees recall. He has not stolen or spied [a Ayuso], came to say. And he acknowledged that he feels he is experiencing a “very unfair situation.” “I am the national president of the PP. You cannot kick me out here today,” he exclaimed.
At the end of the meeting, Feijóo and Casado informed the rest of the barons that they had chosen Gamarra and Pons to lead the transition
The “interest” of the party
Casado recalled that the meeting of regional leaders is a president’s advisory body, not a body to make decisions about the composition of the leadership. Any decision has to be made by the national board of directors, he pointed out, where he himself has already opened the door to the new stage by convening it on Tuesday and including the vote of a extraordinary congress.
The president stressed that he reached the top thanks to the legitimacy that victory in a congress gave him, in 2018, and another one has to come to lose it and pass the baton. Like good negotiators, he defended the need to “do things right” and “with dignity”, not only for his “personal interest”, but also for the “general interest of the party”.
And that “do it right” passed, in his opinion, by continue as president until the congress of April 2 and 3, to which he promised not to appear. This was written in the statement issued by the party, “unanimously”, after one in the morning. As in the case of Moreno, with his “constructive” tone, in the end, Casado’s team also stood out, although with less intensity, the end result provided by Feijóo. The Galician leader and the leader of the popular informed the rest, at the end of the meeting, that previously, in the meeting alone, they had agreed that Cuca Gamarra will be the new general coordinator, for the day to day match, and Esteban Gonzalez Pons the new president of the organizing committee of the congress. They all agreed and, a few minutes later, they issued the statement. As summarized by a former regional president of the party, in the end they resolved it “in a civilized way” and without “resignations after a coven.”