The socialist María Chivite will in all probability be the new president of Navarra after the three parties that form the coalition in the Provincial Executive, the socialists of the PSN, the nationalists of Geroa Bai and Contigo-Zurekin —the coalition that includes Podemos and IU— have reached an agreement on Monday night. They have done so after more than five hours meeting at the Parliament headquarters in Pamplona, where the coalition headed by Uxue Barkos has presented a counter-offer for the programmatic agreement and has said yes to the socialist proposal. Thus, the three formations add up to 21 seats in a Chamber of 50, although abstention or even a possible affirmative vote from EH Bildu (the nationalist coalition has already announced that it will not oppose) is still necessary for the investiture of Chivite.
The negotiations have been long and “hard”, in the words of Barkos, after the difficulties in agreeing on the representation of each group in the Executive. The great novelty with respect to the previous Government has been the change of hands of the Ministry of Housing, which in the last eight years has been managed by Geroa Bai and will now fall to Contigo-Zurekin, the third partner. This area was coveted by the two minority partners in the Government. However, Barkos has asserted that, although it was “a legitimate aspiration”, the fact that it fell to Contigo Zurekin was not going to prevent the reissue of the coalition. Instead, they take over the management of Health, a portfolio that they already managed in the 2015-209 legislature, when Barkos presided over Navarra.
For Geroa Bai, it is a satisfactory agreement, since it maintains the other three departments it had in the previous legislature: Environment and Rural Development, Economic and Business Development, and Citizen Relations. However, the name of the departments could change in the next few hours, as the three parties have met tomorrow morning to close some issues related to the government structure and the programmatic agreement.
Geroa Bai also manages to maintain both the presidency of Parliament and the regional senator, for which reason he has seen a good part of his demands to re-edit the coalition recognized.
The recently reached pact is also satisfactory for PSN and Contigo-Zurekin, who already signed a pre-agreement last week whereby the formation —whose main member party is Podemos— obtains the management of Housing and the fields of Youth and Feminism. On the part of the organization secretary of the PSN, Ramón Alzórriz, who has avoided detailing the details of the pact, “the important thing today is that we are in time and form to give the Navarrese men and women a progressive government.”
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Begoña Alfaro, spokesperson for Contigo-Zurekin —the union of Podemos, Izquierda Unida and Batzarre—, without advancing the content details while waiting to “take a last look at the document” already this Tuesday, has announced that after the final go-ahead They will explain in public the details of the pact. However, it has defined what is going to be constituted as a “progressive and unity” government that, once agreed, will try to “lighten” the constitution process, so that between this week and the next it can be in March.
In the last week Geroa Bai has led the times by curbing the optimism of his other two partners with a change of direction that made clear his disagreement with the hegemony of the PSN and even threatened to abandon the talks to make way for EH Bildu .
On Friday, the Socialists launched their latest offer to re-edit the coalition government, agreeing to grant Geroa Bai — a brand of Socialverdes and PNV — the four ministries in the Executive, a requirement of the Barkos formation, which asked for the same representation as in the previous legislature despite having lost two seats in the regional elections of 28-M. The PSN had already offered the presidency of Parliament —to Unai Hualde, who already held the position in the previous legislature— and they also agreed that the regional senator should be a nationalist.
Although the deadline to invest María Chivite was running — there was until August 28 before, for not having elected a president, they would have had to call elections again — EH Bildu had already announced that he will consult his bases to support Chivite if the socialist candidate for re-election did not get Geroa Bai’s yes, as finally happened on Monday night.
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