The gloves are off as Friday is manifesto day

TONIGHT (Thursday) is action night. Throughout Spain’s 8,112 municipalities, all the Candidates for Mayor will be taking to the street to start the ceremonial pasting of their Electoral Posters on Billboards around their respective Towns. This symbolic gesture will probably be the last act of comradeship, as from this point onwards, all seems to be fair in love, war and politics!

First thing Friday morning, if not at midnight itself, all of the manifestos will be available for the electorate.

The flag waving has already begun in Torrevieja where most of the parties have already had a ‘big night out’ to present their list of Candidates to the faithful.

Last week was no exception as on Tuesday, Torrevieja’s Municipal Theatre hosted the presentation of the Popular Party’s electoral list.

A huge audience of more than a thousand supporters crammed themselves inside the auditorium and also watched proceedings in the foyer area on special Large Screens.

The meeting attracted supporters of all ages, and featured the support of Federico Trillo, national deputy, and David Serra, deputy secretary of the Partido Popular in the Valencian Community.  During proceedings, the PP Candidate Eduardo Dolon thanked everyone for their support and was greeted to rapturous applause from his audience of supporters.

Two days later, Dolon took the opportunity to invite the international press to a conference to outline a few of his proposals for his election program.

He was accompanied by Graham Knight and Rosario Martínez Chazarra and the three of them gave a brief outline as to their hopes and aspirations for more International integration and a major push for tourism, as the future of the city.

Tourism is seen as a major growth factor for the future and one of the key points put forward by the PP will be the creation and implementation of a tourism pact involving all political parties and social agents.

Dolon also announced the creation of a new Central Office of Tourism and the intention to further develop all kinds of initiatives and programs to encourage the development of Hotels in the city.

When it comes to creating more opportunities for Foreign Residents, Graham Knight underlined the intention of creating an International Cultural and Social Centre in the near future, which will act as a catalyst for the City’s hundreds of International social, hobby and performance groups and associations.

The Centre will host town hall meetings of the advisory board of culture, have restaurants, cafes, performance and rehearsal areas, parking, and offer a long list of activities.

Torrevieja has more than 200 clubs and this new centre will not only be a meeting place but also have staging facilities to allow each performance group a place to call home, to store scenery and costumes and to help integrate the Spanish and International communities further.

Although over 50% of the city’s population is of foreign origin, only slightly over 6,000 have registered to vote from over 24,000 that could do so but he hopes to further the ties with the International Community though publishing more official documents in various languages.

The importance of Torrevieja is not lost on the political rivals. As Valencia’s fifth largest city, Torrevieja has 27 seats for the taking. 14 seats are all that is required to hold power in the city and Eduardo Dolon, is hopeful that he will be the one to replace outgoing Mayor Pedro Hernandez Mateo in the post.

As we await the manifestos from one and all, to date only the PP have put forward ideas to further the lot of the International citizens of the City. None of the other parties have, as yet, produced anything in English; but that may change tomorrow.

Until now, with the exception of the PP and in part the Alternativa Popular de Torrevieja (APTCe), the other parties have not provided their slant on how the city could be better run or managed.

On Friday all will be revealed. The manifestos will be published and the electorate will start to decide whom to vote for on May 22.

The gloves are off and may the best man, or woman, win.

 By Keith Nichol

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