Spanish conservative Popular Party elects Pablo Casado as its new leader

Spain's conservative Popular Party has elected Pablo Casado as its new leader following the ousting of its previous leader, former Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy

Pablo Casado addresses delegates in Madrid last Saturday (Photo: El Mundo)
Pablo Casado addresses delegates in Madrid last Saturday (Photo: El Mundo)

Following the ousting of their previous leader, former Prime Minister Rajoy, in a public scandal, Spain’s opposition Popular Party (PP) has elected Pablo Casado to be their new leader. The 37-year-old congressman promises to bring a fresh approach to party values and politics, and has already initiated preparations for Spain's elections next year.

Mr Casado has been described as holding right-wing political beliefs, among which are:

  • Economic renewal for Spain can be achieved through improved productivity and lower taxes;
  • A hardline stance must be taken to “reconquer” the Catalan people;
  • The promotion of regional independence by political parties must be controlled and potentially illegalised;
  • The European Union’s policies on freedom of movement and border control require revisions;
  • “[G]ender ideology” is “a social collectivism the centre-right must fight against”; and
  • He is also critical of the right of abortion as well as euthanasia.

Casado previously served as the PP’s chief of communications, and another focus of his will be reinvigorating party support in light of regional, municipal, and European elections in the coming year.

The PP had been embroiled in a corruption scandal, which culminated in the ousting of the former leader, Mariano Rajoy, who had been prime minister since 2011, in a no-confidence vote last month. The scandal centred on a secret campaign fund, which the party had run from 1999 to 2005. Mr Rajoy was replaced as Prime Minister following the vote on June 1st by Socialist leader Pedro Sánchez.

Mr Casado describes himself as a “liberal conservative”. At an address in Madrid on Saturday, he urged delegates to “reconnect with society” on multiple levels of their localities, to “excite” voters, and to “start preparing a winning project for the next elections.”

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