On Wednesday regional PP leader Isabel Díaz Ayuso was voted in as the new president of the Madrid region thanks to coalition partner Ciudadanos and the support of Vox, the far-right party, which has chosen to remain in the opposition. The vote followed a very heated debate with Más Madrid leader Íñigo Errejón, who repeatedly demanded an explanation about a number of unclear issues in Ayuso’s background.
In the first session of the debate Ayuso outlined her government plans, intended to woo Ciudadanos and nudge Vox into lending her their support. Her platform includes a range of liberal policies —she has vowed to make “the greatest tax cut in history”— and a promise to show “zero tolerance” for corruption.
In her initial address in the regional chamber, Díaz Ayuso hit back at the left’s criticisms of her feminist policies. “I am faced with the most sexist lawmakers I’ve ever met, MPs who keep bringing up my family in their speeches and speak half truths, looking to undermine Madrid’s liberty project”, said the PP candidate in a veiled reference to Podemos. “To them the only good women are those on the left: the rest are evil”, she complained, and she accused the left of spearheading “the most sexist campaign ever launched against a candidate”.
Ayuso’s speech was centered around slamming her political opponents and ridiculing the “mantras” of the left, whilst making a case for her platform, which is backed by the PP, Ciudadanos and Vox. Ayuso was well aware that the agreement was jeopardised by the Anti-Corruption Prosecutor’s recent request to probe her predecessors Esperanza Aguirre, Ignacio González and Cristina Cifuentes over the Púnica corruption case. Soon afterwards, several news outlets reported that Ayuso had ties with the graft scheme, that she had been on the payroll of Madrid Network —a quango set up by Esperanza Aguirre— and that she owed five year’s worth of local taxes to the city of Madrid.