At press conference held on Friday in Orihuela Costa C.L.A.R.O. announced a new coalition
partnership formed to contest the 26th May municipal elections for the municipality of Orihuela.
The coalition will comprise C.L.A.R.O, the Cambiemos party – which has two councillors in the
present Town Hall – and Unidos Podemos. The three parties have agreed to form a coalition with
the aim of creating a new Orihuela government committed to sustainable development (no more
uncontrolled building without corresponding services and infrastructure), de-centralisation of its
administration with equal and proportionate investments, guaranteed rights to services, respect
for the environment and equal rights.
This basic platform corresponds to principles which C.L.A.R.O. has promoted and defended over
many years. In fact, C.L.A.R.O. has been working with Cambiemos over the last four years, in
particular on environmental issues such as saving Cala Mosca, the last green area on the coast
threatened with the construction of 1,500 new houses, as well as the need for proper parks and
gardens in Orihuela Costa.
Recently Cambiemos presented a motion at the Town Hall plenary meeting for the de-
centralisation of the administration and finances of the municipality. This initiative was supported
by C.L.A.R.O. and other coastal associations. However, predictably, this motion was defeated by
the present Popular Party-Ciudadanos government coalition.
As well as holding common local political aspirations, a strong basis for the coalition is to ensure
the by working together the parties will see their councillors gain places in the next council. By
joining forces they aim to counter the bias of the electoral system which penalises parties which
fail to reach a threshold of 5 percent of the total votes cast. In the 2015 elections C.L.A.R.O. gained
1,400 votes and so failed by 35 votes to elect a councillor. Similarly, Podemos with 900 votes also
However, looking towards this year’s election, together with Cambiemos – which narrowly failed to
elect a third councillor – C.L.A.R.O believes that it has a real opportunity to elect a strong group of
people which will be effective in changing the government of Orihuela, or will at least form part of
a strong opposition including dedicated councillors who will provide a voice for Orihuela Costa.
The top four on the coalition list will be: Carlos Bernabe (Cambiemos), Maria Garcia Sandoval
(Podemos), Javier Garcia (Cambiemos) and Helene Akermane (C.L.A.R.O).
Another positive factor is that C.L.A.R.O., with the agreement of Cambiemos and Podemos, has
offered one of its posts on the list of candidates to an independent representative – Mamen Lopez
Raya – of the newly formed and potentially important Agrupcacion de Electores or Citizens
Movement which has begun mobilising the Spanish population of Orihuela Costa. C.L.A.R.O hopes
that this will encourage supporters of this movement to vote for the new coalition and help
achieve votes in Orihuela Costa.
Best chance for the coast
Of course, an important consideration in achieving this aim will be to ensure that British voters,
whose right to vote has been confirmed, irrespective of the outcome of Brexit, participate actively
in the forthcoming election. British voters represent a considerable electoral force in Orihuela
Costa and it is hoped that they will show their appreciation of the generosity of the Spanish
government in ensuring the conditions for their continued residence in Spain by exercising their
right to vote and participate in decisions concerning their local area. Voting to get a voice for the
coast is the only way local residents can guarantee improvements in the issues they are concerned
about such as rubbish collection, cleaning, parks and gardens, sports and other community
facilities and services.
C.L.A.R.O. has always encouraged integration, uniting the various nationalities and communities
living in Orihuela Costa but also wants to see integration with the rest of the municipality.
C.L.A.R.O President, Helene Akermane said: “We believe the coalition will help to end the present
paralysis where Orihuela Cost has no voice in the government of Orihuela. This coalition has been
founded on the belief that the whole is greater than the sum of parts and together our parties can
ensure a change of government and make improvements where the present Popular Party-
Ciudadanos government has failed miserably to meet our needs here and elsewhere in the
municipality. The parties in the new coalition, together and with the support of voters, can ensure
a better future for Orihuela Costa and Orihuela.”