Albert Rivera Díaz

Catalan Politician and Leader of Ciudadanos

Albert Rivera has been President of the Ciudadanos party since its foundation in 2006. He was a member of the Catalan Parliament from 2006 to 2015 and now is in the Congress of Deputies in Madrid.

Albert Rivera Díaz was born in Barcelona on November 15th 1979 to a Catalan father, Agustín Rivera, and Andalucian mother, María Jesús Díaz.

He studied Law at the Facultad de Derecho ESADE (Universidad Ramon Llull) and amongst his teachers was Francesc de Carreras, the man behind the civil platform Ciudadanos de Cataluña, which gave rise to the Ciudadanos.

He graduated in 2002 and began working at La Caixa bank whilst at the same taking a postgraduate degree in Constitutional Law.

Apparently, in 2003, Rivera joined Nuevas Generaciones or New Generations, which is the youth wing of the Partido Popular, although he has denied this.


Political Career

Albert Rivera was elected President of Ciudadanos-Partido de la Ciudadanía at the party's first congress in July 2006 and then became candidate to the Presidency of the Generalitat of Catalonia in the elections to the Parliament of Catalonia of November 2006.

The party's campaign was notorious for the poster in which Rivera appeared naked and Ciudadanos won three seats.

In September 2007 he received death threats and in January 2008, he announced that he would be standing for the Congress of Deputies but failed to get elected in the elections of March 2008.

Rivera was one of the politicians against the banning of bullfighting in 2010 and later that year was re-elected to the Parliament of Catalonia in November.

Around about this time, as the Catalan independence movement began to gain momentum, he began to participate in shows on Spanish TV, such as El gran debate on Tele 5, El gato al agua on Intereconomía or La Sexta Noche on La Sexta.

In the elections to the Parliament of Catalonia of November 25th 2012, tripled its number of MPs to nine, and after the Catalan Elections of September 27th in which he was replaced by Inés Arrimadas, Rivera announced he would be standing for the Spanish General Elections of December 20th 2015.

In these elections, Ciudadanos won a disappointing 40 seats in the Congress of Deputies and although Rivera tried to form a coalition with PSOE, no party was able to form a government and the elections were repeated on June 20th 2016.

At the time of writing, Ciudadanos currently have 32 seats and with a minority Partido Popular government led by Mariano Rajoy in power, the party are likely to be called on for support and so will probably have some influence on policy.  

Albert Rivera has written two books: Juntos Podemos, el futuro está en nuestras manos (Espasa 2014), with Fernando de Páramo, and El Cambio Sensato. 100 preguntas, 100 respuestas (Espasa 2015).

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