Palma.—The former Chairman of Conservatives Abroad in Majorca, Peter Newey is this year running as a candidate for the centre right Partido Popular in Calvia and yesterday he stressed the importance of those non-Spaniards registered to vote in the local elections on May 22, to exercise their right to do so.

Newey, who is campaigning hard in Calvia where the PP is hosting BBQs every night in different areas to engage with the non-Spanish voters, said yesterday that the response is good “but, we'll not really know how people are going to vote until election day,” he added. “We're enjoying a very positive response and I get the impression that there is more real genuine interest in the elections than four years ago, but on the door steps, you never know if they're giving you lip service or they mean what they say.

Must vote “We've been getting 300 plus at our nightly BBQs and Manu Onieva (Candidate for mayor) gets a warm welcome where ever he goes,” Newey added.
But, party allegiances aside, Newey warned that unless the estimated 24'000 non-Spanish residents which are registered to vote in the Balearics, turn out on polling day “we can't expect the parties to take us seriously. “I predicted this four years ago, and I have been proven right. “All of the main parties are paying more attention to the foreign vote this time around with more foreign candidates, we have two Britons and German standing here in Calvia for example, and much of the literature and manifestoes have been translated and printed in English. That cost a lot of money and unless people turn out and support which ever party they wish to vote for, then the parties are not going to support us. “Unless we show them we care, why should they care about us,” Newey underlined. “There are two issues here, from the European candidates' point of view, it is getting people to vote for them, but from a cross party perspective the message is vote otherwise the non-Spanish community will never have a voice and the muscle to lobby on certain issues which are important to us,” he added.

The burning issue for the non-Spanish resident community is the residents permit and the return of the official residency card but, if the parties can not get the European voters out on May 22, the issues will get pushed to the bottom of the pile in Madrid.

Across the country there are around 500'000 non-Spanish residents registered to vote, the majority British citizens, if all of them turn out a week tomorrow, then central government will have to listen to their worries and concerns.

Reckoned with “It's something I can't stress strongly enough,” Newey said. “Use your right to vote, otherwise we will not have a solid platform to lobby Madrid,” he added. “If we do, then we'll be a body to be reckoned with.” What is more, in many of the smaller municipalities, the foreign vote could make all the difference but many non-Spanish voters do not fully appreciate just how important a role they can play in the local elections.

So, you have been warned by the PP's Peter Newey.