Rajoy admits PP is having difficult moment
The PP leader urges party supporters to remain calm and trust that leadership will be rebuilt, but evades comments on new appointments.8 May 2008
MADRID - Popular Party leader Mariano Rajoy acknowledged Wednesday that Spain's opposition conservatives are going through "a difficult moment," but urged party members to remain "calm" and trust that the leadership will be "rebuilt".
Pressed by reporters to respond to questions over the PP's future following the departure of two high-profile figures in the last 10 days, Rajoy admitted only, in his customarily evasive manner, that things have been tough since the party lost the general election on 9 March - the second defeat to the Socialist Party with him at the helm.
"The only thing I have to say to those people who have voted for the PP and to party members is that, indeed, this is a difficult moment but we will go about things with common sense," Rajoy told reporters yesterday.
"Rest assured that things will come out well and that the PP will continue to defend the interests and ideas of the people who support it."
On Monday, Secretary General Ángel Acebes announced he will not stay on after the PP holds its convention in June in which Rajoy will seek re-election.
Last week, Eduardo Zaplana, spokesman in Congress during the last four years and party number three, announced that he is resigning from politics to take a job with Telefónica.
And in April, Madrid premier Esperanza Aguirre raised the prospect of challenging Rajoy for the presidency.
Rajoy has also faced pressure from key figures in recent days to clarify who will replace Acebes or who else will join him in the party leadership if he wins the June convention.
He refused yet again refused to comment on who he will pick.
[El Pais / A. Eatwell / ANP / Expatica]