The transformation of Ciudadanos until its decline: from Adolfo Suárez to Vox

Albert Rivera it was believed Adolfo Suarez and they are like night and day”. That is where the error of Ciudadanos and its leader began in the opinion of the former president of the CDS in Castilla y León during the most difficult years of the former president of the Transition Government. charo diegofull professor of Criminal Law at the University of Salamanca until her recent retirement, was one of the few faithful who accompanied Suárez until the end.

Charo Diego, former CDS president in CyL: “Adolfo Suárez would never have taken a photo of Colón”

For Diego, the first woman to preside over a Provincial Council in Spain at the express wish of Suárez at the end of the 80s, compare the former leader of the UCD and CDS with Rivera “It was deceiving the people to get a political return.” In his opinion, “they are like oil and water, both politically and intellectually.” Therefore, he forcefully clarifies that “Adolfo Suarez the photo of Columbus would never have been taken”.

It’s hard to understand how Rivera he wanted to compare himself with Suarez and even his own kennedy -whom history is beginning to judge in its fair measure- and that the party lives its decline with a good example of what it has become in the words of Arrimadas: “Sánchez is giving a self-coup against democracy Spanish from the Government of Spain”. Statements very similar to those used by the most extremist PP and also Vox.

the second mistake

Rivera was seen in Moncloa before a broken PP, surrounded by corruption and weakened by the resounding victory of Inés Arrimadas in the Catalan elections of December 21, 2017. From that moment on, the errors followed one another until reaching the Columbus photo and refuse to be vice president of Pedro Sanchezdespite the governance agreement pact signed by both parties.

The independent deputy of ERC Joan Capdevila clearly remembers the day in which Inés Arrimadas won the elections in Catalonia. Thus, she recalls how “Ciudadanos manages to capitalize on the constitutionalist vote in a fragmented and divided territory.” For the independentist, “you have to analyze the data from that victory – which I do not question – to understand everything that has happened.” From his point of view, what Arrimadas and Cs achieved had a lot to do with the help of many Spanish media and with the support of that business class led by Josep Oliupresident of Banco Sabadell, who coined the phrase that, for Capdevila, best summarizes all that: “We need a right-wing Podemos”.

In this context, Arrimadas concentrated the Spanish vote and “he got him out of a lot of abstention”, according to the ERC deputy, who defines those Catalan elections “as a campaign with the appearance of appearing doped”. Political Catalanism, in his opinion, and since the Republic, “has lived with these counterattacks from Spanish nationalism. And it has a name: lerrouxism“. And it is that for the Catalan independentistas, the heirs of Alexander Lerroux (republican and president of the government in the Second Spanish Republic), “these pearls have been sent to us from time to time when it has been agreed”.

Capdevila: “That victory of Arrimadas was a measles of Lerrouxism”

For this reason, Capdevila assures Public that that victory of Arrimadas in Catalonia deceived Ciudadanos more than it worried the independentistas. “We knew it was something punctual, a measles lerrouxism plus“. The deputy insists that “the result of those elections responded more to a greater participation of the fishing grounds of abstentionists, who are activated by anti-propaganda process“.

Third mistake: favors to the extreme right

The experts who analyze for Public How Ciudadanos has come to this situation of disintegration process agree that the harsh words of Arrimadas this week in Congress, where he followed in the wake of Vox, and his support for a motion of no confidence against Pedro Sanchez, they are only the culmination of the favors of Ciudadanos to the extreme right. Political twists that some link to the trumpism. Facilitate the PP – with the support of votes from those of abascal– Autonomous governments where the PSOE had won (Castilla y León, Murcia or Madrid) marks the new drift since 2019. In fact, Alfonso Fernandez Manueco, president thanks to Ciudadanos in Castilla y León despite losing the elections, has made possible in 2022 an autonomous Executive co-governed with Vox. Something that would have been impossible if it weren’t for Ciudadanos.

Joan Capdevila, in this political context, has recently recalled in Congress to Miguel Angel Gutierrez, general secretary of the Citizens Group in the Congress of Deputies, the verses of Machado: “miserable Castilla, yesterday dominating, wrapped in its rags, despises what it ignores.” From his seat, he responded to Cs’s: “How long the epitaph of Ciudadanos is taking me”.

Three offers on the right

And the internal disunity and the conflicts over the primaries, as the editor in charge of the rights recalled, in Public, amanda garciafinish with the camp battle Come in Arrimadas and Bal that “It started two weeks ago on account of a discussion between the two about the law of only yes is yes. Bal, according to his own defense, convinced the party to vote in favor of the rule. It was a collegiate decision between the parliamentary group that now After the controversy over the reduction of sentences, Arrimadas questioned: What has caused this? A war between the two that is disputed in the field of ideology: Bal criticizes the conservative drift of Arrimadas, while she replies that “being progressive It’s moving away from Irene Montero a lot.”

For his part, the political scientist and collaborator of Public Eduardo Bayon defends that the key date to explain what happens in Cs is 2019from the motion of no confidence from Pedro Sánchez to Mariano Rajoy. For this specialist, “this political moment greatly marked the electoral environment, competitive as the polls showed, and Ciudadanos remains out of fire“.

For Bayón, “this change of scenery disrupts the plans of Cs and the electoral perspective and there is a strategy of betting everything to compete with the PP.” This commitment to become the first party on the right, “taken to the extreme”, leads to the general elections in April and November. “At first, it works for him in April, but the appearance of Vox ends up hurting them with three offers on the right,” says this specialist.

The move to the extreme right in Castilla y León

Enrique del Olmo, co-founder of the movement more democracy and member of the Public Space Foundation, understands that Ciudadanos lives two moments that mark the beginning of the end. The first is when the agreement signed between Pedro Sánchez and Albert Rivera is truncated due to the turn of orange, which prevents them from finally being part of the Executive with a PSOE government, and “the panic that enters them, after this, which leads to pact of Columbus, and that leads them to the abyss”. But, for Del Olmo, the determining factor is the second movement: “The process in the regional and municipal elections of 2019. There the party still had possibilities.” However, with the pacts and absolute support for the PP, and the coverage of the alliances with Vox, Rivera and Ciudadanos are sentenced.” For this expert, “the party would have survived if it were not for this error.”

Enrique del Olmo: “The serious mistake was letting the PP rule in Castilla y León after three decades of popular government”

allow in Castile and Leon that governed Alfonso Fernandez Manueco with Cs, instead of with the PSOE, since Luis Tudanca had won the elections after more than three decades of popular governments, is, for Enrique del Olmo, one of the biggest mistakes of Citizens. A decision that finally caused the president of Castilla y León to dissolve the government, call elections and agree to form a government with the extreme right. The first co-government with Vox in Spain.

“Rivera should have listened to the leader of Ciudadanos in Castilla y León, Francisco Igeaand let him govern with the PSOE,” del Olmo insists. In his opinion, there the favor of Rivera’s men to the extreme right became clear, even though it was not programmed.

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