Opposition leader Mariano Rajoy’s decision not to include Madrid Mayor Alberto Ruiz-Gallardón in the list of candidates for Congress in the general election caused a bit of a storm last week. At first it looked as if the mayor was planning to give up politics after the March election, but by Saturday he was pledging his loyalty to Sr Rajoy and appeared with him at a conference on education on Sunday. His arch competitor for power within the Partido Popular, Madrid Community President Esperanza Aguirre was also on the platform. PP senator and party founder Manuel Fraga, considered to be Ruiz Gallardón’s political mentor, criticised Sra Aguirre, who he claims kept the mayor off the list. Sr Fraga told reporters after a meeting with the mayor: “She did not want Gallardón to be presented, and this attitude does not appear praiseworthy to me. It’s like when she presented a book in Madrid which revealed that she is not called Esperanza (Hope) in vain. She has held many posts and worked very well, but the last 50 pages are excessive because they are just to attack Gallardón.” Gallardón himself told the press: “You are not going to hear anything from me different than a call of support for Rajoy.”


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