Rubén Viñuales confirmed this past Thursday what had been an open secret for a long time: he will present himself to the primaries to be the mayor of the PSC in the face of the Municipal Elections of 2023. The socialist formation begins this next week the internal process to carry out carried out its greatest challenge at the municipal level of the 21st century, such as designating the successor of a Josep Fèlix Ballesteros who has been the only candidate in Plaça de la Font since 2003. Before, even in the 20th century, the ‘1’ of the PSC had been Xavier Sabaté in 1999. That was 23 years ago.
Sources from the local management confirm to the Diari that, at last week’s meeting, the current deputy in the Parliament of Catalonia explained that he feels strong enough to “lead a winning project”, which will serve so that “Tarragona recovers the illusion, the drive and the leadership that he has lost with Pau Ricomà». Other sources emphasize that Viñuales’ idea is to command a “posibilistic, positive and non-confrontational” bet. This newspaper tried to talk to Viñuales himself, who declined to hold public demonstrations because he prefers to “respect the times required by the process.”
Decision in two weeks?
The process to relieve Ballesteros will begin at the end of this week, when the period for submitting candidacies will open, and it will be during the following week that the applicants must gather the necessary endorsements – about seventy – to confirm their accreditation. From here, if there is only one candidacy, an extraordinary assembly will be convened within 12 days: May 20. That Friday, the candidate would be proclaimed mayor in a meeting in which they work so that the First Secretary of the PSC, Salvador Illa, is present, since both that day and the next the Govern Alternatiu will meet in the city of Tarragona, from which Viñuales is precisely part of it as head of the Justice area.
On the contrary, if there was more than one applicant, the process would take a few more weeks because an internal campaign process would be opened among the candidates. In fact, today this is the great unknown: knowing if the heir to the greatest socialist figure of the last two decades, with twelve years as mayor of Ballesteros, will be chosen by consensus of the local group or yes, by the Otherwise, there will be an alternative option.
Contact with the municipal group
Parallel to the primary process, Viñuales has been in permanent contact with the municipal group of the City Council for weeks, an institution of which he himself was a member for five and a half years as spokesman for Ciutadans, and in which his relationship with the PSC was clearly one of less to more, approving in fact the last budget with Josep Fèlix Ballesteros in the mayor’s office.
Later, already during the current term in Plaça de la Font with Ricomà in the mayor’s office and the socialists in opposition, Viñuales left Ciutadans in 2020, resigned as councilor and was number ‘2’ for Rosa Maria Ibarra on the PSC list for the 2021 parliamentary elections.
Despite this, the now deputy in the Parc de la Ciutadella has not disconnected from current events in Tarragona and maintains links in the day-to-day life of Plaça de la Font. Berni Álvarez has become his most trusted person and everything seems to indicate that he will occupy a prominent position in the candidacy, in case it is led by the former Ciutadans. Likewise, the other great support of Viñuales in the city is Nacho García, who acts as chief of staff of the sub-delegate of the Central Government -Joan Sabaté- and who is the Secretary of Municipal Policy of the local group. In addition, during the last few weeks he has led the participatory process to configure an electoral program that, in a few days, will know who will lead him in the battle of 2023.