Popular Party founder urges unity in ranks

22nd January 2008, Comments 0 comments

Manuel Fraga, the Popular Party's octogenarian founding president, sought to bring order Monday to the centre-right party he raised from the ashes of the Franco regime.

22 January 2008

MADRID - Manuel Fraga, the Popular Party's octogenarian founding president, sought to bring order Monday to the centre-right party he raised from the ashes of the Franco regime, appealing to members to put aside their differences and work together ahead of the general election on 9 March.

In an impromptu address to the PP's senior leadership during a meeting of the party's National Board, Fraga told party members to "unite" and return to the "reformist centre" of Spanish politics in order to end the PP's worst internal crisis since it lost the 2004 general election.

The crisis erupted last week when PP leader Mariano Rajoy gave in to hard liners and refused to let Madrid Mayor Alberto Ruiz Gallardón run for Congress. Gallardón, a moderate conservative popular with voters, had been a protégé of Fraga's, who has warned that Rajoy's decision will cost the PP votes in the election.

[Copyright EL PAÍS / CARLOS E. CUÉ 2008]

Subject: Spanish news

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