The Spanish party, Ciudadanos (http://www.ciudadanos-cs.org/
known as C's) is a small political party in Spain, which describes
itself as 'centro-izquierda' (centre-left) and 'no nacionalista'
It is against all nationalism 'sin excepcion' (without exception) and
is also a secularist party:
"Defendemos un Estado laico e independiente, desde el respeto a
diferentes religiones y sensibilidades."
("We defend a secular and independent State, out of respect for
different religions and sensitivities.")
Despite this, the party leadership decided to enter into an electoral
alliance with Libertas.
It has put at least two candidates forward for the European elections
under the name 'Libertas-Ciudadanos'.
A significant section of the party, including senior members, is not
happy with this decision as they feel it betrays the traditions and
policies of the party, especially in light of the links between
Libertas and far-right parties, such as the Mouvement Pour la France
(MPF: 32 ? candidates under Libertas banner), the nationalist and
ultra-Catholic Liga Polskich Rodzin (LPR, League of Polish Families:
40 candidates under Libertas banner) and Italy's La Destra party (25
candidates under Libertas banner), led by 'neo-fascists' Teodoro
Buontempo and Francesco Storace.
In addition, the decision to enter into an electoral alliance with
Libertas and put Miguel Duran at the head of its list for the European
elections was taken by the leadership without consulting its members.
The General Council of the party finally got to vote at an
extraordinary meeting on 21/22nd April where they voted (36 in favour,
24 against, 2 abstentions) to continue the 'coalition' with Libertas,
although there have been complaints from some members that the meeting
was rigged and that members did not have enough information to make an
Since then leading party members, including Antonio Robles (a member
of parliament) and many branches of the party have left; in one case,
85% of the members of a party branch quit in protest at the alliance
Almost 300 members of the party, have signed a 'manifesto', published
by Carmen Leal, a member of the party's general council, condemning
the decision as a betrayal of the values of the Ciudadanos and calling
for the decision to be reversed.
The majority of members have left the Madrid organisation in protest
at its alliance with Libertas which they consider to be eurosceptic
They're also not happy with Miguel Duran being a candidate, especially
given his business links with Silvio Berlusconi, and some members are
considering joining rival political parties.
Links to stories about split in Ciudadanos (in Spanish):
Miguel Duran is the lead candidate for the Libertas-Ciudadanos list in
Not only was Miguel Duran once head of ONCE (Spain's national
organisation for the blind), he was also a senior figure in a Spanish
gaming (i.e. gambling) industry association and brokered a deal
between two of Spain's leading gaming companies.
As part of this deal, Duran was given control of an Argentine lottery company.
"En 1994 fue nombrado asesor de Recreativos Franco y secretario
general de la Asociación de Empresarios de Máquinas Recreativas.
Durante un breve periodo de 1995 fue presidente del Hipódromo de
Madrid con el reto de gestionar la Quiniela Hípica. Se le consideró el
artífice del acuerdo en 2001 de las dos primeras empresas españolas
del sector del juego, Cirsa y Franco. Uno de los dos puntos del
acuerdo consistió en la cesión de la empresa argentina de lotería a
In 1994 he was named as assessor to Recreativos Franco and General
Secretary of the Asociación de Empresarios de Máquinas Recreativas
(Association of Gaming Machines Enterpises). For a brief period in
1995 he was president of the Hipódromo de Madrid (Madrid Racecourse)
with the challenge of managing the Equestrian Football pools. He was
considered to be the deal-maker in the 2001 agreement between the two
leading Spanish gaming sector companies, Cirsa and Franco. One of two
points in the agreement consisted of the transfer of the Argentine
lottery company, La Solidaria, to Miguel Duran.
Duran was involved in controversy during his time at Spain's TV5
television channel: an investigation into alleged fraud and other
illegal practices was finally resolved when the Spanish supreme court
declared him innocent.
"Durán, que militó en Unió Democrática de Cataluña, fue director
general de la ONCE entre 1986 y 1993, cargo que compatibilizó durante
tres años con el de presidente de Telecinco (1990-1996). La Audiencia
Nacional comenzó en 1997 a investigarle por presuntos delitos fiscales
durante su gestión en Telecinco, aunque el Tribunal Supremo le
absolvió en julio del pasado año junto a otros acusados, entre ellos
el empresario catalán Javier de la Rosa."
Durán, who was active in the Unió Democrática of Catalonia, was a
general manager of ONCE between 1986 and 1993, a position that
co-incidided for three years with that of President of Telecinco
(1990-1996). The Audiencia Nacional began to investigate him in 1997
for suspected tax offences during his management at Telecinco,
although the Supreme Court absolved him in July of last year along
with the other accused, among them the Catalan businessman Javier de
In 2004 he was accused of sexually harrassing a former secretary.
"Además, en enero de 2004, declaró ante un juzgado de Barcelona
acusado de acosar moral y sexualmente a su ex secretaria cuando
presidió la Asociación Española de Máquinas Recreativas."
Also, in January, 2004, he appeared before a Barcelona court accused
of morally and sexually harassing his ex-secretary when he presided at
the Spanish Association of Gaming Machines.