The National Police strives to collect new evidence against the alleged members of the electoral fraud plot dismantled this Tuesday in Melilla after the arrest of 10 implicated, including a local government adviser belonging to the Coalition for Melilla (CpM), the formation dotted with for the scandal. With the manipulation frustrated, at least to a large extent, the agents of the Provincial Information Brigade focus their efforts on analyzing both the documentation and the content of the devices, but also on locating the votes by mail that the network had supposedly managed to buy. . According to the latest data, of the 11,707 vote requests made in the autonomous city, until Wednesday afternoon only 2,572 (21.9%) had been submitted. Investigators hypothesize that a good part of the more than 9,000 remaining had been bought by the plot and are looking for them, despite suspecting that they may have been destroyed.
During the dozen searches carried out this Tuesday, the Police have only managed to recover a hundred of those votes that were not delivered at the Post Office, according to the sources consulted. These show his fear that much of the rest was destroyed by the plot even before the arrests. The control measures adopted by both the judge directing the case —who instructed the Police to identify all those who went to the Post Office with more than one vote— and by the Zone Electoral Board (JEZ) —which determined the obligation to present the DNI to deliver the vote, when it was not necessary before—they made the ballots useless despite the alleged outlay made to obtain them for the plot, which paid between 50 and 200 euros for each one.
The decision of the Central Electoral Board (JEC) to extend the requirement to show the documentation when a vote for Melilla is presented at any other Post Office in Spain ended up blocking the other route that the plot allegedly used, which allegedly sent the votes to the Peninsula through Morocco. Of the 2,572 votes by mail submitted in Melilla, only 761 were before the filters failed the objective of the plot. The rest has already been done with the obligation to show the DNI. For this reason, the police sources consulted consider that a good part of the manipulation has been frustrated.
Meanwhile, the movement of National Police troops is constant through the streets of Melilla. Also the conversations of the neighbors, about where those votes could be. This Thursday is the last day to go to the only Post Office, coincidentally located right in front of the CpM headquarters. The doubts among the people of Melilla, and the fears, reside in what could happen next Sunday, during the elections, in the polling stations located in the disadvantaged neighborhoods of the city, where CpM has a lot of influence. The intention of the local party is that they be suspended before they are held, or challenge them after the result. Its president, Mustafa Aberchán, is disqualified after being convicted of buying votes by mail in 2018. However, this sentence, which has prevented him from running for the elections this Sunday, ends next August.
CPM number 3 (in blue) together with his lawyer and Mustafa Aberchán (white shirt) leave the CPM headquarters this afternoon. May 23, 2023. Photo Antonio RuizAntonio Ruiz
The weight of voting by mail in this 28-M is such that there are more votes requested by post than those that CpM came to agglutinate at the polls four years ago. With the addition that everything seems to indicate that several seats will remain up in the air if the votes by mail do not materialize. In addition to the political tension in the city, the JEC has confirmed this Wednesday the decision of the JEZ of Melilla and will not annul the 761 votes deposited in the Post Office before the obligation was imposed to deliver them in person by the voter and with the ID.
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The JEC thus dismisses CpM’s request, considering that eliminating these votes would mean “depriving those who legally exercised it until May 10 of the right to vote” because they are already out of term to request it again. The public body adds that “a measure of this nature” is not justified either by the “limited number of votes cast to date.” This factor adds fuel to the fire for an eventual contestation of the elections by CpM after May 28.
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