Juanma Moreno takes office as Junta de Andalucia president ending 36 years of PSOE rule

JUANMA MORENO has formally taken office as the President of the Junta de Andalucia, ending almost four decades of rule by the left-leaning Partido Socialista (PSOE) in the region.

Moreno, of the conservative Partido Popular (PP), was sworn in as the region’s 6th president at a ceremony in the Andalucian Parliament in Sevilla today (Friday). He is taking over from predecessor Susana Diaz who will lead PSOE in opposition.

Moreno said things could not be the same as they were before his taking office.

“We are living in a crucial moment in the history of Andalucia. I invite all of you to travel together on a new path towards a better future,” Moreno said.

“I believe deeply in Andalucia and I want Andalucia to believe in itself. The road is not going to be easy but we cannot be a submissive and silent land,” Moreno added.

The ceremony was attended by senior government officials from Madrid including Territories Minister Meritxell Batet who represented Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez. Ana Pastor, the president of Spain’s Congress of Deputies, was also in attendance.

Batet said Madrid wanted to reach out to the Junta which will be governed jointly between the PP and the centrist Ciudadanos with the backing of far-right party Vox.

The PP’s and Ciudadanos’ decision to work with Vox drew criticism. Former Junta President Susana Diaz who said Moreno was taking power with the help of the “heirs” of former dictator Francisco Franco.

Madrid would seek “co-operation and dialogue” with Moreno’s administration, Batet said.

PP leader Pablo Casado was also in attendance. He was joined by party grandees including former Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy and his former deputy Soraya Saenz de Santamaria.

Casado said he was honoured to be leader of the PP during what claimed was a “historic moment” for Spain.

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