Citizens to the fore
Independent movement launched for the local elections
By Nuria Pérez TWO major political events have taken place in Orihuela Costa in the last week with an eye on the upcoming local elections.
Political party CLARO held its annual AGM on Friday – and on Sunday around 200 people attended the presentation of the new citizens’ movement AE Orihuela Costa 2019 with the aim of taking part in the May election.
CLARO’s AGM elected a new president, Swedish expat Helene Akerman, with David Lorenzo secretary general and Bob Houliston, Paul Piccio, Antonio Cerdán, Stanley Colville and Narciso Silva elected as committee members.
Former president Román Jiménez and another 15 long standing members – some of them founders of CLARO – decided to resign.
Sr Jiménez told Costa Blanca News that he was ‘ashamed of the poor image of the party at the AGM’.
He claimed that dozens of people who had never attended meetings or participated in action in the past had surprisingly voted in this AGM for Mr Houliston’s team.
“We have been working very hard this year on CLARO’s revival and have launched the financial autonomy campaign, but now I am sure that the party will fade away,” he said.
“I will keep on fighting for a better and independent Orihuela Costa, but I will not join CLARO again.”
The AGM unanimously approved a motion on political strategy based on the need to acquire basic infrastructure and services for Orihuela Costa.
However, it is unclear if the party will participate in the upcoming elections.
“Given a changing and uncertain political situation, the AGM agreed a policy of wait and see before taking a decision regarding the Orihuela municipal election in May,” notes a CLARO press release.
“This policy takes account of the launch of an Orihuela Costa citizens’ movement aiming to contest the coming election.
“This is potentially an important new factor in Orihuela Costa but at the moment it is not possible to predict its success.”
On Sunday residents attended the presentation of the citizens’ movement AE Orihuela Costa 2019.
Representatives of residents’ associations, expat community and traders’ representatives, and school parents’ associations participated in the event.
Coordinator of AE Orihuela Costa 2019, Iván Pérez, said the aim was to unite the whole of Orihuela Costa and fight to get representatives on the council to protect the interests of the coast.
Sr Pérez said that the movement is not linked to any political party and it has been started due to the outrage and abandonment felt by residents.
He pointed out that the council has more than €30 million from the auction of land in Orihuela Costa, but it has been unable to start or complete any of the infrastructure works which the coast needs and has been demanding for many years.
The association needs the support of at least 1,500 registered voters in Orihuela Costa to be able to present their candidature in the May election and will launch a campaign in the new year to get the signatures.
Those interested in joining or contacting AE Orihuela Costa can visit the website aeorihuelacosta2019.org.
The presentation of citizens’ movement AE Orihuela Costa 2019