BENISSA TURNS LEFT WITH NEW MAYOR
ABEL Cardona, of the left-wing Reiniciem Benissa party, was elected the new mayor of Benissa on Tuesday evening.
The council vote was the consequence of the resignation after 18 years in office of the previous mayor, Juan Bautista Roselló,
Abel Cardona was elected after only one vote was required to swing the decision either way between candidates - himself and PP councillor Arturo Poquet.
The decisive vote came from the councillor for the centrist Ciudadanos party, Isidor Mollà, who voted for Cardona.
Mollà, who was mayor of Benissa before Roselló, had been under severe pressure from his party and residents in the hours prior to his vote to prevent Cardona from obtaining power, even being verbally abused and threatened with expulsion from his own party.
The room erupted into applause as he appeared late, and he immediately gave his vote, bringing political upheaval to the town.
The decision was broadcast live from the packed town hall on YouTube.
The previous mayor, Juan Bautista Roselló, is a PP member and in his letter of resignation he stressed he wanted to pass on the responsibility to fellow party member Arturo Poquet. But over the last few days, the opposition groups, the left-wing parties of Reiniciem Benissa, PSPV-PSOE and Com- promís, reached an agreement in unison to unseat Poquet.
The meeting was therefore called to make the final vote to decide between the two candidates, Arturo Poquet (PP), and the man who was second place in the last local elections, Abel Cardona. Both had received eight votes each for and Mollà finally swung the decision by voting for Cardona.
Cardona, a local basketball coach who has been in politics for two years, promised to make Benissa a 'diverse, multicultural and transparent town, but keeping it Valencian'. He stated that decisions would no longer be made by the council behind closed doors, but that citizens would be able to have an input into their town, a town which would now have ‘heart and soul’.
Reiniciem Benissa is part of the far-left national Podemos group led by Pablo Iglesias.
New mayor Abel Cardona