The Orihuela PSOE group

Accompanied by a delegation of party colleagues, the first deputy mayor of Orihuela and councillor for infrastructure, culture and communication, Antonia Moreno of the socialist PSOE group, announced her resignation from the government team of the municipality this week.

In her opening speech, Moreno said, “I have summoned you today because I announce that at the end of December, and for strictly personal reasons, I will present my resignation as councillor for Orihuela, and therefore give notice for the order to replace me with another companion”.

As the leading figure of the psoe in Orihuela, Moreno has courted controversy herself during her time of service, not least facing criticism from both Pedro Mancebo and Bob Houliston over what they believe was her decision to improve one particular street in Orihuela city, a street that was in repair and a street that a number of other council members also reside.

Commenting on her departure, Mancebo told The Leader, “She has left for personal reasons but she always had a personal agenda. Her projects were personal, everything she did was personal, she was a very charismatic person, but only looked after herself”.

Raymond Kearney, of the Clr supporters group, echoed that sentiment, saying, “Politics has always been personal for Antonia Moreno; she wanted to be the mayor and to immortalize herself by implementing her own personal projects like renovating the street where she lived, building a new town hall and a bullring and evicting the judges from the courts in Orihuela. She failed to achieve any of her personal goals”, concluding, “The people of orihuela costa should welcome her resignation and that of any politician who puts personal ambitions and projects ahead of what’s good for the people.”

In her speech, Moreno continued, “I think after eight years committed to Orihuela, the time to give way to other partners and facilitate the maturity of new leaders and voices leading projects for Orihuela residents has arrived”. Indeed, it was in the most recent plenary meeting that the socialists still expressed their frustration at the childish, bullying antics of some of the other council members, who had in the past resorted to extremely personal insults towards Moreno, in actions that would be unacceptable in the school yard, though some consider acceptable from those elected to govern.

In fact, in the most recent recognition of World Children’s day, the plenary hall was given up to the younger residents of the municipality, who behaved far better than some of the politicians who resort to inhumane tactics rather than a balanced and mature approach.

The 5th of December this year marked the eighth anniversary of the formation of the psoe in Orihuela, during which time Moreno has served in one capacity or another. Moreno had informed her party leaders that she had no intention to stand in the next elections, but this now premature, though “very conscious” decision seems like the right time to move on, “I informed the National leadership of my party and my local colleagues last March of my intention not to stand. I appreciate their discretion and attempts to change my mind, but I know that it is a decision I made with no return to serenity and conviction”.

Although Moreno´s departure will leave a “charismatic” hole in the political management team, as the psoe has been largely stable in this administration, the other member will simply move up the list to make way for a more junior colleague to join the government team. Currently, Victor Luiz, who works as an advisor, is number 8 on their election list, so the natural progression will be for him to join the government team. As for the competencies of the departments, they were already removed some time ago, at her request, so that she could refocus on her career in education. The confirmation of who will take the place as first deputy Mayor, and who will lead the psoe in the future are both outstanding, although one possible contender is Antonio Zapata, another senior member of the PSOE.

Whereas speculation over her departure is expected, Moreno re-emphasised that the decision was “purely personal” in her closing address. She then concluded by thanking everybody involved in Orihuela, especially those who have “taught me so much”.

As for the immediate future, facing questions, Moreno confirmed that the bipartite government will “continue until the end of term unless that a censure motion prevents it”, before also showing her support for her local, regional and national colleagues, with the belief that the psoe is a strong team to run for election in 2015.

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