The Mayor of Palma's announcement that he will not stand for re-election and that Catalina Cirer is to be the new Partido Popular candidate has sparked pre-summer recess election fever. While opposition parties digested the news, central government delegate Cirer said that running for Mayor of Palma “will be a baptism of fire.” “For the first time, the ballot boxes will tell me if the public believes in me,” she said yesterday as she and Fageda appeared together at the City Hall. Fageda said he is confident that Cirer will win, revealing that Cirer was proposed as his successor some time ago. For Fageda, after 20 years in City Hall and 12 as mayor, he says it is time to call it a day, but will be helping Cirer in the run up to the elections and immediately after depending on the result. But Fageda hinted that this does not mark the end of his political career, saying that he has made himself available to the Partido Popular, adding that he has gained some important experience over the years. Cirer plans on continuing as central government delegate until the end of the year and stressed that she will leave no loose ends, adding that whoever replaces her will be “a person I like.” As central government delegate to the Balearics, she will be a formidable candidate and the left-wing coalition parties in the Balearic government know it. Cirer denied claims yesterday that the fact she was a woman had anything to do with her being nominated as candidate for Mayor. She pointed out that she has been working in government for the past nine years, having been in the Balearic cabinet under Gabriel Cañellas before moving to the central government delegation, and that the Partido Popular “is not into spin.” The other big question remaining for the Partido Popular to answer is who is going to be the presidential candidate to fight Francesc Antich. The favourite is Environment Minister Jaume Matas, he was expected to be released from office by Prime Minister Aznar last week so he could focus on running for a return to office in the Balearics.

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