Mayor chosen by the toss of a coin!

WHEN local elections end in a draw, with inconclusive results, as is often the case, highly-technical negotiations are usually necessary to work out which party or parties will govern, and who will become mayor.

That’s all very well, but some town councils, given the predicament, simply toss a coin to determine the outcome. This happened in the Barcelona-province village of Santa Fe del Penedès last Monday morning, to decide whether one independent party, Alternativa per Santa Fe, or the other, Junts per Santa Fe, would take over running its affairs for the next four years.

The former’s leader, Jordi Rius, was mayor until the municipal elections on 26th May, in which he secured 124 votes, which was exactly the same number of ballot papers as Jordi Bosch, leader of the latter party.

With a population of just 379 residents, this means each of the Jordis secured the backing of one-third of the village. The remaining 131 did not vote, or were ineligible.

Seven council seats were available, and both Jordis were guaranteed three each, following the voting stalemate.

But to determine who would get a fourth seat and gain power meant they had to get the Electoral Board to give the casting vote.

A recount confirmed that both had exactly 124 ballots, so the Board summoned Rius and Bosch to the local courtroom for the verdict. Each called heads or tails, and the spin of a coin resulted in Jordi Bosch taking over from Rius as Mayor of Santa Fe del Penedès.

Bosch said: “The coin-tossing exercise was the longest minute of my life, but I’m happy with the result.”

But he admits he would have preferred to call a second vote among villagers, which would have broken the tie, legitimately.

Jordi Rius was resigned to saying: “Luck has decided, but the village is now divided, as it was around 10 years ago.”

He now plans to retire, and not form part of opposition party Alternativa, although he is adamant his decision has nothing to do with the outcome of the heads-or-tails drama.


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Posted by on Jun 7 2019. Filed under Local News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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