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This Saturday's meeting of the general council of Spain's Ciudadanos (Cs) party has ended with a fierce confrontation between the 'Riveristas' aligned with Inés Arrimadas and the visible faces of the critical sector - Luis Garicano, Francisco Igea and Ignacio Prendes - airing differences that have been kept out of the public eye since key resignations over party strategy last June, according to the Spanish digital newspaper Voz Populi (link in Spanish).

Ciudadanos was the big loser in the Spanish general election on November 10th, with its parliamentary presence falling from 57 to 10 deputies, and party leader Albert Rivera resigned the following day, with Inés Arrimades emerging as a leading candidate to succeed him. But this Saturday's meeting was "shameful", in the words of Canary Islands council member Javier Amador, who announced his resignation a few minutes after it ended, after seeing that the "only strategy" of the 'Riveristas' is to "crush discrepancy."

"I wanted to give Ciudadanos a chance to see if they had learned the lesson they were given at the polls, but after a shameful General Council meeting I can confirm that they are full of themselves and that the only strategy in the short term is to crush discrepancy. I have decided to formally leave."— Javier Amador 

The summit approved the date of the party congress and the members of the temporary party administration which has been appointed to direct the party until March, all of whom are aligned with Inés Arrimadas. According to Voz Populi, the vote on the date of the congress - March 15th - went without problems, but the composition of the administration team led to disputes.

The desire of the current party leadership to take the vote on the temporary administration, without discussing its composition or allowing a secret ballot, provoked fierce argument. Igea asked for the floor and declared that "you can't just be liberal on the outside, you also have to apply it in here". His speech went down badly with Carlos Cuadrado, head of party finances, who said he was a poor loser. Meanwhile Begoña Villacís tried to mediate and asked Cuadrado to "shut up." Several of those in the Arrimadas camp then vented their differences against those of the critical sector.

The party differences which emerged last June were centred on political strategy, with many alleging the party had made a "turn to the right", especially in its agreements with far-right party Vox in places like Andalusia. Created in Catalonia in 2006 with a clear policy of opposing Catalan nationalism and later the independence movement, Ciudadanos originally defined itself as being liberal, but many commentators see it as having made a move rightwards in recent years.

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