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Madrid's gaffe mayor won't run again in 2015

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Madrid's gaffe mayor won't run again in 2015
Botella has become known for her political gaffes, most famous of all her cringe-worthy speech during Madrid's third failed Olympic bid in a row. Photo: Fabrice Coffrini/AFP
11:24 CEST+02:00
The wife of former Spanish Prime Minister José María Aznar, Ana Botella, has chosen not to run for Madrid's next municipal elections after a term in office plagued by scandals and criticism.

Botella, 60, made the announcement on Tuesday in an unplanned press conference in Madrid.

Although she didn’t answer questions, the controversial mayor told journalists she “felt she had met her commitments” while in charge.

A statement many ‘Madrileños’ would staunchly disagree with.

Botella’s rise to power is seen by most Spaniards as a direct result of being married to the country’s former right-wing leader José María Aznar, who served two terms in office from 1996 to 2004.

Her aptitude as a leader began to be seriously questioned in November 2012, following the death by suffocation of five young women in a packed Madrid Arena venue which was municipally managed.

Botella’s feeble way of dealing with the matter was followed by the first calls for her resignation.

She went to a luxury spa hotel the day after the tragedy, took over a month to publicly apologize and only dismissed a handful of people responsible for the venue’s catastrophic management.

A year later, Madrid residents kicked up a stink again when Botella failed to find a solution to an 11-day rubbish strike following her decision to slash 7,000 cleaning jobs in the city.

Spain’s capital and its people were fuming, literally and metaphorically.

Botella has also become known for her political gaffes, most famous of all her speech during Madrid’s third failed Olympic bid in a row.

Time Magazine featured her in their list of global political blunders for “jumbling several answers during a press conference” and “her struggle with English” with her cringe-worthy “relaxing cup of café con leche in Plaza Mayor” line turning her into a national laughing stock.

Numerous Spanish media sources argue her decision to not run comes from internal pressure from the ruling Popular Party government, whom she represents in Madrid.

READ THE LOCAL'S PROFILE OF ANA BOTELLA, THE CAFÉ CON LECHE MAYOR

Former Madrid Regional President Esperanza Aguirre, a possible successor for mayor despite a recent hit-and-run incident which may have dented her chances, tweeted “Ana Botella has always done what’s best for the Popular Party”.

The PP have been in power in the capital without interruption since 1991.

Although there are no official candidates yet, another Popular Party woman, Madrid government delegate Cristina Cifuentes is also being tipped for the job. 

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