The general secretary of the Partido Popular-Andalucia (PP-A), Javier Arenas, has announced that he will not stand for re-election at the next regional congress to be held in July.
Arenas won 50 seats in the Andalucian Parliament in the March 25th regional election, five seats short of a majority. As a result, the Socialist Party (47 seats) joined forces with Izquierda Unida (IU, United Left) which won 12 seats to form a government.
Arenas had been tipped to win a majority but the Left took advantage of the general strike called for March 29th to highlight the austerity measures taken by Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy’s government which observers said frightened some voters away.
Even so, it was the best win Arenas had had in his four attempts to unseat the Socialists in Sevilla. Arenas said at the time that he intended to occupy his seat as an elected MP in Sevilla. He also represents the PP-A in the Upper House in Madrid.
Arenas is the PP’s Number 3 man at a national level, being deputy secretary for Local and Regional Policies. He has said he has no intention of “assuming new responsibilities at a national level”, but most observers have said it will not be long before Sr Rajoy offers him an important position in his government.