Spain’s main conservative party has taken a dive to the right on July 21 after Pablo Casado became the new president of Spain’s Popular Party (PP) at party primaries in Madrid.
The 33-year-old defeated his rival, Soraya Sáenz de Santamaría, by a difference of 451 votes out of a total of 2,973 ballots, attracting the support of 57.2% of voters.
However, Casado campaigned in favour of reintroducing more restrictive abortion legislation, toughening up the criminal code’s response to secessionist attempts, and reforming election laws “to stop depending on nationalists and minority parties”.
“People are expecting a liberal, conservative reform agenda from us,” said Casado on Esradio. “I am committed to this, and we will carry it through. The PP is back.”
As reported by Spanish newspaper EL PAÍS, the new PP leader wants to hold a special convention to review the party’s values and reaffirm its ideology. In an interview with EL PAÍS, Casado said that “we have to be everything to the right of the Socialist Party (PSOE).”
In a separate report, the Spanish news agency EFE noted that Casado is currently under investigation by a judge for allegedly faking some of his academic credentials.
Journalists from eldiario.es had revealed that Casado’s supposed postgraduate degree from Harvard was reportedly in fact a certificate for a four-day course in Madrid and a judge was investigating allegations of forgery and academic misconduct over accusations that he had received a Master’s degree in regional law without ever setting foot in class.