PRESS RELEASE – PARTIDO INDEPENDENCIA ORIHUELA COSTA
There is general apathy amongst the International Community when it comes to voting in Spanish Local Elections.
Many residents with the entitlement to vote fail to ensure that their name is actually entered on the list of electors and many of those individuals whose name is on the list of electors do not exercise their right to vote on Election Day. The effects of this for the residents of Orihuela Costa is that instead of returning a third or more of the Councillors sitting on Orihuela Council we have only ever returned one. The lack of appropriate representation from the coast has resulted in Orihuela Costa suffering blatant discrimination and has resulted in the area having the poorest level of services of any area within the Orihuela Municipality.
At its present rate Orihuela Costa will be twice the size of Orihuela City.
Of the twenty five Councillors sitting on the Orihuela Council we have only had one that represented the coast and he only lasted 2 years of his 4 year term.
Not only did this one individual represent an area that rightfully should return at least 8 Councillors he also had the further disadvantage of being the only English person who sat on the council
This individual was in an impossible situation. When there is only one lone voice attempting to advocate for a population of well over 33,000 people, when in fact we should hold the majority.
The effects are that the whole population of the coast continues to be discriminated against, essential services are denied to them and all sectors of the Orihuela Costa community suffer.
In spite of the coast being the major contributor to the revenue of the Orihuela Municipality, 49% of the total revenue comes from the coast.
Spain operates a system of proportional representation. This means that in order to return a Councillor, a certain percentage of the votes must be cast. The votes cast from Orihuela Costa in the last local elections in 2015 were only sufficient to return one councillor!
This situation can so easily change if more residents from the international community actually make the effort to vote.
Unlike the system in the UK you do not vote for an individual to represent your ward. Proportional representation means that each political party has a list of candidates that are prioritised by their political party, hence you vote for a party not for an individual. Who gains access to this list is left to the political parties concerned.
As the main political parties in Orihuela have no presence on Orihuela Costa, i.e. no offices, no political meetings, no constituent surgeries etc. is it any wonder that the lists of Candidates offered by these parties have nobody on them that actually come from the coast?
People of Orihuela Costa must ensure that they return a sufficient number of votes so that we can have the right number of Councillors who will fight for the resources for the coast.
All residents with the right to vote must make their voices heard in the next local elections 28th May 2023 and bring an end to this discrimination dished out by Orihuela to the residents of Orihuela Costa.
A reminder, all British Expats who may not be Residents, the Brexit deadline to register to become a Spanish Resident is 31st December. You will need to start the process 2 months beforehand, October, to allow the process to get your documents approved. Whilst doing this, remember to exercise your right to vote in the next election 2023.
PIOC represents you, the residents of the coast. We can make big changes to all our lives, if we stick together.