JIMENA (Agencies) The municipality could be without a mayor for up to twelve days if Francisco Pineda does not turn up at tomorrow's vote and investiture ceremony (12 noon at Case de la Cultura in Jimena village) to take up his post. This is highly unlikely as he is in hospital having fallen victim to a brain haemorrage during the campaign. While his party, the winning PP, has decided on hoping for his recovery, a second Plenary Session of the Council after tomorrow's, will have to take place to elect the third on the list, Guillermo Ruiz, who will probably become the Mayor (the second on the list was Belen Jarillo, who resigned her post as Councillor to concentyrate on being the 'mayoress' for the ELA in Tesorillo (but that's another story). So, with a second session in view, it is perfectly possible that Ruiz will not be confirmed until several days later. Nevertheless, and in the political rather than the personal context, this Saturday's meeting will see only 16 of the 17 councillors-elect present for the first vote (pay attention, there, or you'll be querying Prospero in the street for a long time after all this, and his memory ain't wot it wos) as the PP has not asked Pineda to resign his seat.>
Izquierda Unida, the 'hinge' party, did not reach an agreement to govern with anyone, having kept their word that they wouldn't. Yeseterday they announced that they would be voting for their own candidate, so no party will therefore obtain an absolute majority on the first vote - given that 9 seats are needed for that, andPP and PSOE only got 7 each at the elections on May 22. IU, 2 and PA 1.
As established in law, the first vote would mean, each party voting their own candidates, that Pineda would automatically become Mayor -even in his absence- as his party got the most votes. This session is to be presided by José Antonio Castilla, of the PA because he is the oldest serving councillor, and the eldest. But he will not be able to pass the baton on to Pineda, although the rest of the elected councillors will be taking up their badges of office.
Royal Decree 2568 of 1986 says that if the elected official is not present at the constitutionary session (i.e. Saturday's) he will be rquired to present him/herself within 48 houres. Should he not do that, another session must be called, and the Mayorship remains vacant. The exception would be if Pineda resigns his position or he is certified incapable by a court. Another meeting, this time an Extraordinary Plenary Session, would then be called within 10 days for a new vote to elect the Mayor.
Jurists consulted were unable to be clear about who would be Mayor in that interlude, as there is no clarity as to the legal position in this case. There are those whose opinion is that there is a possibility that Castilla (PA) could become Acting Mayor, as it is he who will preside the session tomorrow, and could thus continue in that function until the new vote. (See Unusual post-election situation in Jimena)