By Humphrey Carter

PALMA
THE big winner of Sunday's local election was the president of the UM Majorcan Union party, Maria Antonia Munar, and once the time for political negotiations has run out, it will be Munar who decides who will run the Balearics - if she does not.

Munar, President of the Council of Majorca, not only holds the balance of power in the Balearic government but the Majorcan Union party's decisions are going to prove the key in the future of the Council of Majorca and Palma City Council. The next few weeks are going to be dominated by political wheeling and dealing but before the political parties start jostling to appease Munar, they are going to digest and reflect on what happened on Sunday and why. The Partido Popular is keen to revive the pact with the UM but PP leader Jaume Matas knows that it is not going to be as easy as four years ago as the relationship between the two parties suffered greatly during the final weeks of campaigning. Depending on what the PP decides to offer, Munar could be left in the choice position of taking over as the new President of the Balearics.

What is clear is that the Majorcan Union party wants to have sole control of the Council of Majorca and that, after three terms as president of the Council, Munar wants a change.

Palma city council is also going to prove a minefield for the parties wooing Munar. Munar's man, Miquel Nadal, wants to be Mayor but the PP's out-going Mayor, Catalina Cirer, has made it crystal clear that she is not going to form part of a Nadal-led UM-PP coalition. She prefers to resign.

On the other hand, Munar and the UM could decide to pact with the PSOE Socialist party.
The only hurdle there is that the UM, which enjoys a good relationship with the PSOE leader and ex-president Francesc Antich, is not prepared for the extreme left-wing Bloc movement to have any role in the process of power. A UM-PSOE coalition would be disastrous for the PP because, in the worse scenario, it could leave the Partido Popular in a minority in government, on Palma city council and in the Council of Majorca.

Munar is all ears.

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