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The former Secretary of Organization of Citizens: "The great mistake of Arrimadas was to disengage from the party"


Highlights: Borja González left Ciudadanos in September dissatisfied with the refoundation process. He accuses the current leadership for not "dissolving" the formation after the decision not to attend the 23-J. He says the party was perceived as a very unreliable party and voters never forgave us for betraying our principles. Gonzáz: Arrimadas threw the game on his back in a very difficult stage, he had a complicated but not impossible role. But his great mistake was to disengage from the party and not withstand the pressures.

Borja González, who left CS in September dissatisfied with the refoundation process, charges against the current leadership for not "dissolving" the formation after the decision not to attend the 23-J

Borja González (Bilbao, 45 years old) joined Ciudadanos in 2014 because the party exhibited in Catalonia "the same value" as that shown by "the PP in the Basque Country" 15 years earlier. There he founded, together with other colleagues, the Basque structure of CS. In June 2020, just after Inés Arrimadas was confirmed as president in primaries, she moved to Madrid to assume the position of Secretary of Organization, as number three of the then leader, replacing Fran Hervías. But, last September, González left CS dissatisfied with the refoundation process.

Question. You assume the Secretariat of Organization when Ciudadanos had already collapsed in Congress, going from 57 deputies to 10 in just five months, did you think then that it was possible to raise the party?

Answer. I came from a very difficult territory like the Basque Country, where we learned to defend the project until we got two parliamentarians when it seemed impossible. The results in 2019 had been bad, but Albert Rivera was right in everything he said. Our challenge was to know how to explain it and demonstrate firmness.

Q. What was the big mistake that sank the party?

A. The largest, the motion of censure of Murcia. We were perceived as a very unreliable party and our voters, who, as this election has shown, came mostly from the centre-right, never forgave us for betraying our principles.

Q. But you were already Secretary of Organization when the motion was forged, were you aware of the initiative? Was Arrimadas the promoter of the motion of censure?

A. Arrimadas was not the driving force, but she was knowledgeable about the strategy. I and many of us found out from the press. Only a few knew her, she was a fraud.

Q. Had you prepared another motion of censure in Madrid?

A. We were always told no, but the reality was different. Time made both of them begin to talk and there we learned that they had prepared motions of censure in cascade. First would go Madrid, then Murcia and then Castilla y León. I don't know if the territories knew. The mistake of some and the luck of others made the Murcia jump through the air and everything rushed.

Q. How responsible has Arrimadas been in that the party has not managed to recover since Rivera resigned?

A. Arrimadas threw the game on his back in a very difficult stage, he had a complicated but not impossible role. His political legacy is admirable and hopefully he will be remembered only for that. But his great mistake was to disengage from the party and not withstand the pressures of those who whispered in his ear. That was unsustainable.

Q. Who was whispering to you?

A. There have always been two or three people around him until things went wrong and then there was change. It is not a question of pointing out.

Q. You leave when the refoundation process had been underway for two months, why?

A. From the beginning, last June, I propose to hold an assembly as soon as possible and without tutelage, and I show my disagreement with a remote-controlled refoundation that responds only to the personal interest of the now secretary general, Adrián Vázquez. I say this in executive and openly in the territories. The order is given to paralyze the party and allocate all resources to the refoundation. I refused. It was difficult to keep in a position of such relevance someone who does not share the same theses, the door opens and I leave for it. And Arrimadas mounts the refoundation to put a scapegoat now in May.

Q. What do you think of the refoundation afterwards?

A. It has been a process in which no truth has been told. Beyond having spent millions of euros in going around Spain to make an internal campaign and assault power.

Q. To what do you attribute the disastrous results this 28-M?

A. They have not understood who our constituents were and the leaders were not at the political level of a party like CS. They have confused a campaign of personal promotion with an election campaign. They have destroyed even the image of what was our main asset, Begoña Villacís.

Q. Do you agree that the current leadership does not want to run in the general elections of 23-J and continues with the party?

A. This is nothing more than the culmination of the plan that one person had, who has also used the good faith of the rest. They keep the money of a party that is no longer to promote themselves personally. How is it possible that no one has resigned after disappearing from all of Spain? If they wanted to rethink the party they would make a transition manager, but the plan was never the party, it was always themselves. I think the most convenient thing is to dissolve the party with honor, for what one day was and for all the work of so many people.

Q. Do you think the party has any chance of coming back after the convention scheduled for July?

A. Nth convention, refoundation, call it what you want. An excuse to justify that now they are going to spend the money they have not wanted to give to the territories to make a dignified campaign. How can it be that there are still millions of euros in the box while our militants have been ruined in an impossible campaign? It is a disgrace.

Q. Now he asks for the vote for the PP, when before he was against bipartisanship. Is he betraying his party? Will you seek or are you guaranteed a position in the PP?

A. I left Ciudadanos in September, grateful and without saying anything against anyone. I didn't mean to interfere and I didn't. I have returned to my usual job and have not done an interview or statements until now. My political positioning is identical to that of the vast majority of Cs voters in 2019, and the party that best represents Albert Rivera's electoral offer is not Ciudadanos, it is the Popular Party. To defend ideas you don't need to ask for anything or be offered anything.

Q. But will you accept if you are offered a position?

A. The Popular Party has never called me to offer me anything. And I reiterate that the defense of ideas is neither to ask nor to be given absolutely nothing.

Q. What was your greatest achievement and your greatest failure as Secretary of Organization?

A. We restructured the match in record time in the middle of the pandemic. We tried to give more autonomy to the territories and we set ourselves the objective that young people were a dynamic agent of the party. But I wish I had managed to get the complaints of the affiliates to have reached the management more directly. If I had, we probably wouldn't be like this.

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Source: elparis

All news articles on 2023-06-05

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