José Ramón Bauzá, who had signalled his intention to resign as leader of the Partido Popular but who had been planning to stay on as party president until a special congress to appoint his successor could be convened, has been forced to accept that he will have to resign by the middle of July.
He had come under increasing pressure to go from rebels within the party, chief among whom were the ex-mayor of Palma, Mateo Isern, and two former colleagues in his government: Biel Company, the former environment minister and Marti Sansaloni from health.
A meeting which had been planned for Thursday evening was called off when the national party in effect sided with the rebels and struck an agreement to avoid what would have been public humiliation for Bauzá.
The meeting would have been greatly in favour of him standing down immediately and indeed it was, prior to its cancellation, being described as a "lynching".
The compromise is, as the PP in Madrid had wanted, for Bauzá to be named as senator in exchange for his resignation as party leader. Central office had looked to avoid precisely the embarrassment that the Thursday meeting would have created for Bauzá. It had wanted for him to be able to go with some dignity intact. Even so, Bauzá had still been trying to hold out until September, something which his opponents were not prepared to accept. Among other things, they didn’t want him to be in a position to make appointments, such as he had already done by making Maria Salom, the ex-president of the Council of Majorca, a vice-president of the Balearic parliament board.
This was not a move that was unanimously supported within the party.
The rebellion against Bauzá was such that a "manifesto" against him had been drawn up.
This accused him, among other things, of a failure in leadership which had prevented possible pacts having been made in municipalities that could have proved beneficial to PP mayoral candidates.
It also said that he "harms the image of the party and does not have enough support".
Bauzá’s appointment as senator in Madrid will still be dependent on approval from the PP’s regional committee, but it would seem to be assured because of central office’s intervention.
One immediate consequence of the agreement struck between the rebels and Madrid is that Bauzá will not take part in the debate for Francina Armengol’s investiture on Monday and Tuesday.