The 17th regional congress of the PP did not have much suspense. In fact, the most common joke among those present was to comment: “Well, let’s see who wins.” It was not even five in the afternoon and the organization had already announced that, as was known, there was only one candidate: Isabel Díaz Ayuso. After months of fighting, she achieved her goal of rising to the leadership of the PP in Madrid. With a very serious internal crisis that ended up dragging down the previous national president, Pablo Casado. Having won the congress and announced her team, the popular leaders now expected to see how Díaz Ayuso would manage the new era that was now beginning. And, slipped a veteran leader, “let’s see how long it takes to touch the noses of those above.”

The popular people of Madrid had been waiting for this congress for a long time. But with him, it was time to say goodbye to others. And there were those who felt hurt after having worked hard to “raise a party that in 2017 was in ‘shock’ and completely sunk, between masters and creams”, and who managed to revive and get back on their feet. Those teams, which were deleted, “are the ones that have left a street game, like the one that Ayuso wants,” they pointed out. For this reason, this replacement leaves behind a part of the PP, which does not look favorably on avoiding duplication of positions and removing directors from party positions, because they believe that it is something that is pursued by “a gray party, and a gray government, so that only she shines ».

There were also those who read between the lines the “messages that ‘the Galician’ is leaving”, in reference to the national president of the PP, Alberto Núñez Feijóo, to the new popular president of Madrid. For example, that «he himself comes to the congress tomorrow and then goes to another; he is telling her that she no longer has all the focus ». And another: “The one who is presenting the regional presidents is Pedro Rollán, which is a way of saying that there is a replacement.”

Interpretations aside, the congress was totally dedicated to Díaz Ayuso: the interventions, the applause and even her walks –where people gathered around her to take a photo with her– left no doubt about her absolute role in the PP of the Community of Madrid.

She was, when she took the podium, moved to tears; her gaze at a plenary standing up to receive her betrayed her illusion for having achieved what has been her dream in recent years: to get hold of the key to the Madrid PP, to be able to govern it as well her way. “I can’t wait to win!” Were her first words.

Díaz Ayuso defended that he wanted to surround himself with that type of people who come “from the real world, where it is very cold”, and accustomed to “work, work and work”, very similar to the “pick and shovel” of Esperanza Aguirre. Always attentive to details, Díaz Ayuso wanted to publicly thank the first congratulations received, that of the veteran Luis Eduardo Cortés, former counselor in Aguirre’s time and who was regional president of the Madrid PP from 1989 to 1993.

And then, he released the list of names of his new board, with many new features and many absences, although some, fireproof, managed to stay. The two directors Carlos Izquierdo and David Pérez “fall” from the list of deputy secretaries. But it includes as members the head of Education, Enrique Ossorio, and the president of the Assembly, María Eugenia Carballedo; and on the board of directors, the directors Javier Fernández-Lasquetty and Paloma Martín. “If wedding tables are hard, this is the hardest thing that’s ever happened to me,” he concluded.

The Madrid mayor, José Luis Martínez-Almeida, was the second of the names on his list, in a new gesture of complicity with the alderman who at some point in the race for the presidency of the PP appeared – or was shown – for the position . The first mayor of Madrid was surrounded by dozens of members eager to congratulate him. To him and to the regional presidents who participated in the congress in the afternoon –those from Andalusia, Juanma Moreno; Galicia, Alfonso Rueda; Murcia, Fernando López Miras; and Castilla y León, Alfonso Fernández Mañueco–, who had their own hobby, especially Andalusian.

The congress occupied part of a pavilion of the fairgrounds, decorated in shades of blue and with little lighting: “This is very dark!” some ladies said as they entered. Being extraordinary, it had no presentations, which focused the activity on the election of the new president and left the meeting somewhat lazy. The ideological debate will take place at a convention announced for the fall.

Ayuso’s advisers were seen in the front row; the organization was changing them from one row of seats to another depending on the moment, and they let themselves be done. Ruiz Escudero, head of Health, could not leave the pavilion without being asked by the press about monkeypox. The Minister of the Presidency and Justice, Enrique López, was still caught fresh by the congress activity: «It is my first regional congress, and a month ago I experienced the first national one».

Some members with past responsibilities in public office highlighted that “for the first time in many years, we have seen those who comb gray hair return to congress, and that is something that was no longer seen.”