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Charito, Spain’s Oldest Mayoral Candidate, Becomes Councilor at 95

MADRID – Charito, Spain’s oldest mayoral candidate at 95, missed out on the top job, but was elected as a councilor in her mountain town of Patones to the north of the capital Madrid but told EFE she was not sure yet whether she would attend all the plenary meetings, given her age.

The nonagenarian ran for mayor with a group of friends calling themselves the Grandmothers of Patones but came third in the mayoral race that was eventually won by the Socialist Party (PSOE), which nonetheless congratulated Charito, as Maria del Rosario is universally known in her community, for her achievement.

“Yes, I’m a female councilor, I don’t believe there have ever been any female councilors before,” Charito told Efe in an interview the day after municipal elections in Spain. “See, I’m important, now the women match the men,” she added.

She had yet to decide whether she would make it along to the plenary meetings at the Patones town hall but hopes that a secretary could stand in her stead during the debates.

“I’ll send it in writing. If not, I will go in my car, or the town hall might send a car to get me. I don’t know if we have them or not, I don’t know because I’ve never set foot in the town hall,” she said.

Charito was also in the dark as to whether, at the age of 95, she would make it to the next election.

“Whatever God decides,” said the councilor, who has a house in Patones de Arriba, a historic village just to the north of the main town of Patones, where there are only around 20 residents.

Patones de Arriba, a popular tourist destination nestled in the mountains, also boasts of being a designated area of special cultural interest.

She said she felt relaxed about her new responsibilities, adding she was confident that the other members of Grandmothers for Patones, all of whom are younger, could step in to defend her flagship campaign promise to build a parking lot with 1,000 spaces if required.

“A parking lot is necessary,” she said. “For all that money that tourism brings to Spain, if we have it here, why are we not taking advantage of it?”

Charito would also like to help out older members of the town and has proposed either building a new care home in the town or adding an extension to the existing one.

Grandmothers for Patones came third in the local elections with 15.7 percent of the vote, behind the Popular Party with 20.19 percent and the winner, the PSOE, with 60.90 percent.

Spain held local, regional and European Parliament elections on Sunday.


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