Photo: Ana Botella
Ana Botella, the wife of former Spanish Prime Minister Jose Maria Aznar, will become Madrid’s first female mayor, municipal authorities announced Thursday.
Botella, currently a councilor and second-deputy mayor, will be elected to the post in an extraordinary meeting of the city council next Tuesday.
She will succeed Alberto Ruiz-Gallardon, mayor of the capital since 2003, who is to serve as justice minister in the new government of Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy.
In remarks to the media outside city hall, Deputy Mayor Manuel Cobo said Ruiz-Gallardon presented his resignation first thing on Thursday morning.
When asked about the legitimacy of Botella serving as mayor, given that she was not a candidate for the post in the recent elections, Cobo said that as the No. 2 person on the conservative Popular Party ticket in the last municipal ballot, she received the votes “of the majority of Madrid residents.”
“All Madrid residents voted for her who voted the Popular Party ticket. She had the same number of votes as Alberto Ruiz-Gallardon and the rest of the members of the ticket and, besides, it seems to me that she’s going to do very well,” he said.
Aznar was prime minister from 1996-2004, when he designated Rajoy to succeed him at the head of the PP.
Rajoy lost to Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero’s Socialists in 2004 and 2008 before leading the PP to a landslide victory in last month’s general elections.