STAFF REPORTER

PALMA
THE President of the Partido Popular (PP) party in the Balearic Islands, Jose Ramon Bauza, was sworn in yesterday as a regional MP.
He fills the vacant seat left last week by ex PP militant, Jaume Font who has now started a new political party.
Bauzá will thus be attending the last six Parliamentary sessions of the present Balearic government prior to regional elections in May. But according to records, the PP leader's time as an MP will be the second shortest in the history of Parliament.

Swearing his oath of allegiance on the Balearic Constitution and the Bible, as is traditional, Bauza was given a standing ovation by members of his own party.

He will not however, be the PP spokesman in the regional Parliament as that task will remain with Antoni Pastor. But Bauzá yesterday sat in the chair which is usually taken by the leader of the Opposition which until now had been occupied by Pastor.

Balearic President Francesc Antich also briefly congratulated Bauza on his becoming an MP. Bauz's credentials and his membership of the House have been confirmed by the Balearic Electoral Assembly.

Parliament was forced to convene urgently after ex PP militant Jaume Font resigned as an MP last week, leaving the way clear for Bauza to join the ranks.

Bauza said yesterday that he had no intention of “hiding” during the sessions left to him prior to the Parliamentary dissolution at the end of March.
The PP Opposition leader, cuts an affable figure, polite and smiling, nodding courteously to those he recognises, whatever their political colours but with the ambition of becoming the next President of the Balearic Islands, Bauza will need to tackle experienced Socialist coalition leader Francesc Antich.

His task will not be an easy one as for the last four years, the Balearic government has been riddled with corruption scandals, often with their roots embedded in both the Partido Popular and the Majorcan Unionist party with whom the PP had pacted when ex Balearic President Jaume Matas (PP) was in power. Bauza has made it clear that those members of his party who have been implicated in corruption scandals, as had Font, whether or not their guilt has been proved, should not stand for election.