The rightwing leader of Madrid’s regional government, Isabel Diaz Ayuso, has stood down and called early elections in Spain’s wealthiest and most populated region, her deputy said Wednesday.
“Isabel Diaz Ayuso has decided to resign and call early elections in the Madrid region,” said Ignacio Aguado, who heads the centre-right Ciudadanos party that has ruled the region in a coalition with Ayuso’s rightwing Popular Party (PP) since May 2019.
He called the surprise move an “irresponsibility” at a time when hospitals in the Madrid region are full of coronavirus patients.
The move comes after Ciudadanos decided to break with the PP in the southeastern region of Murcia, where the two parties governed in a coalition, and back a no-confidence motion filed by the Socialists.
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Aside from Madrid and Murcia, the PP and Ciudadanos govern in a coalition in two other of Spain’s 17 regions.
A rising star of the PP, Diaz Ayuso has made headlines for her vociferous opposition to Socialist Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez’ government, especially her refusal to impose strick virus restrictions to protect the local economy.