Vázquez and Saura confront their party models for Cs in the first debate ahead of the primaries

Crossing of reproaches between the two on account of the “continuism” of the list promoted by Arrimadas and that Bal is thinking about the generals

MADRID, 4 Jan. (.) –

Adrián Vázquez, Santiago Saura and Laura Alves, the three candidates for Secretary General of Ciudadanos, held a debate this Wednesday, the first of the two planned for the primaries on January 11 and 12, which has served to confront their models for the ‘orange’ party after the Extraordinary Assembly that will mean the culmination of its refoundation process.

Vázquez, the candidate of ‘Renace tu partido’ -a list endorsed by the current president, Inés Arrimadas-, Saura, the candidate of ‘Ciudadanos de nuevo’ -the one promoted by the deputy secretary general, Edmundo Bal-, and Alves , from ‘The base of change’, have agreed to give affiliates a greater role in a debate that has been structured around four axes: operation of the party, models of participation and decision, teams and operation of the new Executive and counterweights.

Although the debate has been fundamentally calm, Vázquez and Saura have launched mutual reproaches. The first has reproached the candidacy that forms the Saura-Bal duo for the second having already transferred his intentions to run in the primaries to be a candidate for the generals if he emerges victorious from this contest, while the second has ensured that the list of Vázquez and his running mate, the Balearic coordinator Patricia Guasp, is a “continuist”.

In Vázquez’s opinion, if the party does not survive in the municipal and regional elections in May, “the people with airs that want to present themselves as a candidate for the Government will be forgotten.”

For the MEP, May is “the Rubicon” of the party and, if he fails to resist, he has warned that coming electoral cycles will be “very complicated”. In addition, he has maintained that his list exhibits a “radical change of faces”.

Saura, for his part, has pointed out on several occasions that “continuism cannot be the solution” and has reproached his rival candidacy that “now they say they are going to do everything they haven’t done in two years.” In addition, calling to be “also ready” for the general elections at the end of the year, he has defended the projection of Bal among the electorate ahead of this electoral appointment.

The current Madrid councilor has also blamed the MEP that “one in three members” of his candidacy belongs to the current leadership of Ciudadanos, while in his that figure is “one in ten”.

Alves has also expressed criticism, especially focused on the re-foundation process and the decision-making process of the current leadership of the ‘orange’ party.

According to her, the refoundation “does not exist” and “nothing has changed.” She has also criticized that the party has not “know how to be critical” or “stop hyper-leadership.” “The dissenting voices have been silenced and there are no counterweights,” she added. Likewise, the also councilor in the El Álamo City Council (Madrid) has questioned the proposed two-headed model, by virtue of which the organic and political parts will be separated, which still must be endorsed by the militancy on January 14 and 15.


Beyond that, the applicants have had time to explain the changes they propose for the future. Vázquez has advocated for a “more professional, more transparent and more transversal” party that turns Ciudadanos “into a useful and competitive tool” to excite citizens in May.

Straight away, he explained that his candidacy has designed an action plan for the first 45 days of his leadership that “turns the party around.” Among other things, he has proposed carrying out a “professional and independent” study that locates the resources that Ciudadanos has to use them “strategically” or the creation of a new external and internal communication structure.

“The members are the owners of the party and they are the ones who have to be best cared for,” he assured, asking for “self-criticism.” Along these lines, he has announced a new tour, the ‘Illusion Reborn’ route, to be able to hear the problems of each territory “first-hand”.

For Saura, the priorities are the “participation” of people who have been “relegated” under the current Executive and the “richness and diversity” of ideas and people within the formation.

The councilor has lamented that “affiliates have been neglected” in recent years and has defended the need to provide them with “respectful treatment.”

Among their promises, they highlight that the territories will have the freedom to “modulate” the post-electoral pacts they can reach and allocate campaign funds to all municipalities, “not only the most flashy ones.”

On the other hand, he has criticized the “narrowing of the ideological space” of the party and has called for “expanding it” and talking about “other issues”, such as the difficulty in reconciling work and personal life, access to housing for young people or health and education. “Take them to the front line and not let there be other parties that always have them in their mouths,” she summed up.

Alves, for his part, has defended the need to adopt the social changes of recent years in Spain to the electoral program and to consummate a change in political position, “not to lean to either side”, but to make “liberal proposals”.

In reference to affiliates, he has emphasized the importance of consulting them on decisions “so that things like the ‘Only yes is yes’ Law do not come out –Ciudadanos voted in favor, which has led to criticism for the reductions in penalties for sex offenders that it has made possible since it went into effect–“.

In addition, he has defended that the militancy must have “ways and channels” to communicate with the representatives. “Active listening”, he has underlined her.

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