Suspicions about the alleged electoral fraud surround the Coalition for Melilla, the Islamic group that makes up the majority of the tripartite part of the current government of the autonomous city. The police operation this Tuesday against the alleged massive purchase of votes has resulted, for the moment, with nine detainees and as many searches in different parts of the municipality.
Among those arrested are ‘number 3’ of the Coalition for Melilla party and councilor for District and Citizen Participation, Mohamed Ahmed Al Lal; and a son-in-law of the formation’s leader, Abdel-ilah Nourdine Ahmed. Both have been released hours after giving a statement at police stations and will be summoned by the judge who is conducting the investigation into this alleged election rigging plot.
In addition, a search has been carried out in a premises located on the Farhana highway ceded by a supporter of the Coalition for Melilla, which would be used during this electoral campaign as its data center and press office. Although the investigation is secret, the police actions carried out during this day put the Islamic party under suspicion, which in turn speaks of “persecution” for being “uncomfortable”.
One vote, one hundred euros
The investigations were launched after verifying the existence of a network to capture votes by mail to rig the elections in the autonomous city on May 28. A total of 11,707 residents of Melilla had requested to vote by mail in these elections, 21.21% of the total electoral census. This percentage is more than double that registered in the previous 2019 elections and is seven times higher than the national average (2.8%) and that of the other autonomous city, Ceuta (3.3%).
The National Police considers that there are sufficient indications of the existence of a “mafia structure” made up of between 30 and 50 people who, through the purchase of each vote “in exchange for 100 euros”, intended to significantly interfere in the result. of the polls. The rest of the detainees on Tuesday would be petty criminals who occupy the lowest rung in this alleged vote-buying plot and whose role would be to capture voters willing to sell their vote.
He mode of operation It was simple: the plot bought these citizens with money so that they could request their vote by mail and later deliver the documentation with the ballot of the party that they wanted to benefit to be deposited at the Post Office. In addition, the same instigators presumably assaulted the postmen who carried the vote-by-mail documentation to seize it and present it on behalf of these people, since the presentation of the DNI was not necessary at first to receive the vote. Among the records made this Tuesday, significant sums of money and different ballots have been found.
The current plot would operate above all in economically depressed areas, where very low-income citizens reside. They would offer these neighbors up to one hundred euros per vote. In addition, the Police are also investigating the origin of the money with which the purchase of the will would be carried out and whether there was an attempt to bribe a Post Office official assigned to a post office on the peninsula to deliver votes to Melilla without no control.
The leader of CpM, disqualified for electoral crime
After the two arrests and the search of their premises, the Coalition for Melilla (CPM) believes that “a witch hunt is being committed” against them. The formation, founded in 1995 by its current leader, Mustafá Aberchán, was born as a sort of split from the PSOE by the majority of Muslim affiliates with the desire to meet the needs of all Melillans, “without any exclusion”. In their first elections they were already third force with 15.47% of votes and four deputies. In the last electoral appointment, that of 2019, support doubled (30.62%) and representatives (eight). Its logo is a handshake, symbolizing concord, accompanied by the initials of the party.
Coalición por Melilla is now the majority party of the tripartite Government of the autonomous city and in these elections it aspires to the presidency, which is now occupied by Eduardo de Castro González. Its leader Aberchán cannot be, currently disqualified for leading a plot to buy votes by mail for the 2008 Senate elections. Socialist youth hatched a plan to convince citizens to request the vote by mail and deliver the envelope in exchange for a contract in the employment plans that the government delegation had underway. Back then, voting by mail already shot up to 11.42% compared to the average of 5% in Spain. A case very similar to what has happened now in the same city fourteen years later.
For these regional elections, the party’s candidate to preside over the Assembly is Dunia Almansouri Umpierrez, current first vice president and Minister of Finance, Employment and Commerce. In addition, just a few months ago, Coalición por Melilla joined the Más País network of allies and was one of the parties that was present at the proclamation of Yolanda Díaz as Sumar’s presidential candidate. After these new suspicions of fixing, the parties that make up the ‘Turia Agreement’ have decided to expel the Islamic formation from that alliance until the events that occurred in the city in recent weeks are clarified.
Despite suspicions of fraud, both the Government Delegation and the Ministry of the Interior have guaranteed that the elections in this city will be “clean”. The spokesperson for the central Executive, Isabel Rodríguez, defended this Tuesday during the press conference after the Council of Ministers that the judicial and police investigation shows that the rule of law in Spain works in the face of any anomaly in the process and that “no one can skip the rules”.
Source: HuffPost Spain for Athena2 by www.huffingtonpost.es.
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