RETIRED monarch King Juan Carlos I is still in intensive care after a triple bypass operation, but is in excellent health despite his ordeal and expected to be moved into a mainstream ward room shortly. The 81-year-old...
Pablo Casado elected new PP leader
By thinkSPAIN Team Sat, Jul 21, 2018
PABLO Casado has been elected head of the right-wing PP party after a close battle with former government deputy president Soraya Sáenz de Santamaría which ended on 1,701 votes to 1,250.
Outgoing leader Mariano Rajoy – president of Spain until early June when a no-confidence vote put socialist head Pedro Sánchez in power – opted not to vote for either candidate to lead the PP as he wished to remain neutral.
Sra Sáenz de Santamaría cited her experience at the sharp end of national government as her unique selling point during the in-house election, whilst Casado's ideology and desire to 'renew and modernise' the PP were the basis of his campaign.
Soraya expressed her dedication to the PP, a party she says she will support 'until she dies' and which she describes as 'moderate centre-right' whose values include 'humanity, Christianity and liberalism' which 'puts the person at the centre of the political action', supports 'freedom, equality and the rights and freedoms of an open society'.
“We are the party that protects life, the family, free initiative and society taking centre stage,” Santamaría said.
Casado wanted to shake off the image of a PP leader being 'right-wing', saying he defended 'the usual values' but questioning whether it was really 'dogmatic, right-wing and non-progressive' to 'protect the family unit', parents' 'right to chose their children's education' - implying promoting private and concertado, or 'halfway-house' State-cum-private schools on the same level as State centres – 'free and maximum-quality public healthcare' and 'care policies'.
“We are the party of freedom,” says Casado, who advocated lowering taxes and encouraging 'innovation', insisting the PP is 'a party of a non-subsidised society' and which supports freedom in Spain and also in 'our brothers in Venezuela, Nicaragua and Cuba'.
“We are a party in support of life and the family and without complexes,” Casado continued, adding that the PP is against the proposed euthanasia law under discussion by the socialist government because it is 'unnecessary and unjust'.
Both candidates pledged 'zero tolerance' against corruption and to 'defend the honesty of the PP' and its intention for 'nobody to give them lectures'.
Soraya Sáenz de Santamaría and Pablo Casado are pictured in the centre of the above photograph, posing during the PP's 19th annual Congress.
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