The first serious consequence of the fact that no one in the PSOE, and even less Pedro Sánchez, has publicly given his face admitting mistakes in the electoral debacle in Madrid, has been the revolt that Susana Díaz has started in the party in Andalusia. Without consulting the regional leadership and without having tried to agree on any kind of exit with Díaz, Sánchez imposed days ago an advance of the primaries in that community with the aim of definitively removing the still secretary general. Sánchez never forgave Díaz for competing with him to lead the party, and even less that she was the main victim of his defenestration in 2016. After Juan Manuel Moreno won the presidency of the Andalusian Junta for the first time in 35 years , Díaz was left in a slighted and uncomfortable position, and Sánchez planned a slow but inexorable revenge. He does not want Díaz at the head of Andalusian socialism. But now, the historic blow suffered by the socialists in Madrid has started again an incipient organic fire that threatens to question Sánchez’s leadership. In fact, Díaz has not taken two days to challenge his authority again by announcing that he will attend a primaries designed by Ferraz to the extent of sanchismo.
The reappearance of Díaz was eloquent this Thursday: Sánchez does not even answer her by phone, and has imposed the primaries in such a hurry that there are not even Andalusian elections on the horizon. What is going to be put to the test is Sánchez’s internal power after a massive electoral defeat, and it is to be assumed that she would not appear if she did not believe she had enough support to offer resistance. The hypothetical goodbye of Díaz is not going to be easy to handle for Sánchez when it is the national PSOE itself that, ‘sotto voce’, has begun to reproach him for some decisions. Mainly, the design of the Madrid campaign, a real disaster of contradictions and loss of contact with reality, but also that obsessive tendency to propaganda and demagoguery in the midst of an economic recession. There have been too many lies during the pandemic, and many cessions to nationalism, separatism and even Bildu. That is the bottom line and the danger that Díaz perceives for the future of the PSOE, even above his personal troubles. Socialism has refused to accept the evidence and has blamed the voter, which is the height of political arrogance, and Diaz wants to expose it. For this reason, the blame that Adriana Lastra is directing to Iván Redondo, or the resignation of the Madrid secretary general, José Manuel Franco, are more clear signs that they paint coarse.
However, your challenge will not be easy. Sánchez has created a party with purges and without dissent, as he demonstrated this Thursday by expelling Joaquín Leguina and Nicolás Redondo Terreros, in what was more an internal settling of accounts than a self-criticism. The political debate has not existed in the PSOE for years, but that does not hide either the wear of the sanchismo or the tendency of its voters. The results of the PSOE in Galicia and the Basque Country were bad, and those of Madrid, terrible. Only in Catalonia, Salvador Illa achieved a successful result, but irrelevant to govern. In addition, it is well known that the fine print of the primaries always offers hidden loopholes for a national leader to prevail in an authoritarian way. For this reason, and despite his many political flaws, it is at least worth recognizing Díaz for being the first time to face Sánchez again.
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism