PP ex-minister: delay poll after terror attack

16th July 2004, Comments 0 comments

16 July 2004, MADRID — A former minister from the ousted Popular Party Friday put forward a plan Friday for elections to be postponed after terrorist attacks, it emerged Friday.

16 July 2004

MADRID — A former minister from the ousted Popular Party Friday put forward a plan Friday for elections to be postponed after terrorist attacks, it emerged Friday.

Jaime Mayor Oreja, former Interior Minister and now MEP for the PP, will suggest the move to the European Parliament.

The PP were widely believed to have lost the 14 March general election because of the way it reacted after the Madrid massacre three days before, in which 191 people died and more than 1,500 were injured.

PP ministers insisted at the time ETA carried out the bomb attacks despite mounting evidence it was the work of Islamic terrorists.

Critics believed it was an attempt to deflect blame for the attacks because of the support the former government of Jose Maria Aznar gave to the Iraq invasion.

Mayor Oreja made the suggestion during a course at the University of Computense in Madrid on the fight against terrorism, which was led by Spain's top anti-terrorist judge Baltasar Garzon.

A similar move has been suggested in the US by the Bush government if al-Qaeda tries to disrupt the November presidential elections with terrorist attacks.

He claimed it would be a "healthy" move to postpone elections but admitted it might not be easy to decide what type of terrorist attack should cause an election to be delayed.

Mayor Oreja, vice-secretary general of the PP, reiterated his belief the 11 March bomb attacks changed the result of the election three days later.

He pointed to a poll of two million Spaniards who said that after the bombings  they changed the way they had planned to vote.

"It was this, without doubt, which made this change," he said.

He said a similar "democratic catastrophe" would have happened if ETA had carried out an attack before an election with a similar number of victims. This would have benefited the PP.

[Copyright EFE with Expatica]

Subject: Spanish news

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