Barcelona Mayor Ada Colau’s government partner, Socialist Jaume Collboni, is leaving local government to focus on the election campaign. The number two in the coalition wants to announce it in an appearance this Monday afternoon, the SER has advanced. Collboni’s departure from the executive branch, where he holds the rank of first deputy mayor in charge of economics and business development, does not mean that the Social Democrats are leaving the city government. But his candidate is distancing himself from his rival to elevate his electoral message and also the administration he signs with the mayor. Collboni notified Colau of his departure at 7:45 a.m. via WhatsApp. Other members of the Commons team heard about it on the radio.
Four months before the elections, the electoral commission has been rocked by the incursion of former mayor Xavier Trias into the campaign as a Junts candidate, affecting the Socialists. His entry into the mayoral race adds a fourth contender, relevant in a contest that before Christmas pointed to a three-way tie between the Colau Commons, the PSC and the ERC. Trias has specifically urged Socialist and Republican voters to oust Colau from the mayoral office.
The departure of the leader of the Socialists in the city council in the final stretch of the elections contrasts with his message that he would not break the city government throughout the term, as happened in 2017 at the most critical moments of the independence process. Breaking up the coalition means giving a non-institutional image, the Social Democrats, who will go all out in the elections despite remaining on the government commission, insisted.
Collboni and Colau’s electoral rival, Republican Ernest Maragall, has been hard at work evaluating the socialist’s departure: “It’s a desperate way to shirk the responsibilities he has borne for these four years. It seems very clear that there is a need to reaffirm his distance, but his distance is what he and his group built, decided and shared.” With his support for the executive’s main projects, Maragall was the main partner of Colau and Collboni .
Collboni leaves government with a full week (next Friday, like every last Friday of the month) to vote on a key project: the Eixample borough zoning plan, which will define how and where high-impact businesses can open, such as bars and restaurants. A few days ago, the PSC distanced itself from its partners’ plan in a vote that would have no consequences for the coalition government.
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