The crazy screenwriter who has directed Spanish politics for several years still had one final twist left. Pablo Iglesias leaves the Government to compete with Isabel Díaz Ayuso in the Community of Madrid and incidentally reunify everything that is to the left of the PSOE. With this unexpected decision, which has dislodged everyone, something that Iglesias was a specialist in but had not practiced for a long time, the leader of Unidas Podemos is doing three very relevant things. On the one hand, he leaves the government at its most controversial moment, when the coalition is experiencing the greatest internal tensions. On the other, he focuses on his specialty, electoral campaigns, with a hand-to-hand confrontation against the highest representative of the Madrid right, and with the attempt to galvanize the ailing left of the community, while the PSOE has opted for the bet Conservator of Ángel Gabilondo. And finally, and perhaps more importantly for the future, Iglesias surprisingly opens the succession in United We Can, which had already been spoken about on several occasions, and places Yolanda Díaz as vice president and future candidate at the time there is elections, something that in principle will not be in 2021, but could come in 2022.
Iglesias thus begins his departure from the leadership of the party that he created with Íñigo Errejón – whom he now forces to accept a joint candidacy or see how he defeats him in his stronghold – Juan Carlos Monedero and a small group of professors from the Complutense University, and that now faces the most difficult moment, the one that does not seem to be managing to overcome Ciudadanos: the change of the most visible face. Even so, that process will depend a lot on the result that Iglesias obtains in Madrid.
If the president of Madrid, Isabel Díaz Ayuso, took advantage of the opportunity of the motion of censure in Murcia to do something that she had been thinking about for a long time, advance the elections, Iglesias also takes the opportunity to force that succession that seems evident that it was already in his plans . And the political justification could not be simpler for progressive voters: the need to fight with all the political power possible to try that the PP with Vox does not rule in Madrid. The campaign is already done.
Iglesias, according to sources from United We Can, wanted to give a blow to the community after the PSOE renewed Gabilondo and tried to get the Minister of Consumption, Alberto Garzón, to accept being the candidate, but in the face of the latter’s rejection he has decided to throw all meat on the grill, introducing himself and thus precipitating his succession in Yolanda Díaz, a minister who is not a member of Podemos, not even of Izquierda Unida, and who only maintains her militancy in the PCE, but has achieved a very good image public with its management in Labor and the eight pacts that it has reached in these months with the employer’s association and the unions.
Everything has been done in the Iglesias style: in secret, with impact, and with a video on the networks, as when he announced in July 2019 that he was resigning to be in the Government if in exchange the PSOE accepted the coalition that United We could ask for. “Madrid needs a left-wing government and I think I can be useful. I have been thinking about it a lot and we have decided that, if the registrants want, I will introduce myself ”, he assured in that recording released after The vanguard forward the information.
On video, the full message broadcast by Pablo Iglesias.
Iglesias has already communicated this to the President of the Executive, Pedro Sánchez, to whom he has proposed that Minister Díaz assume that second vice-presidency, but if he loses the Labor powers; and that Ione Belarra, current Secretary of State, is Minister of Social Rights and the 2030 Agenda, a way of not losing the quota of five ministers that corresponds to United We Can. The coalition agreement includes that when there is a change of government, the agreed proportion will be maintained, but it is foreseeable that Sánchez will accept the change because the quota of power negotiated between both parties is maintained.
“It will be an honor to occupy a position in which I can now be more useful, as a Madrilenian and as an anti-fascist,” added the leader of United We Can in the video. The PSOE has been totally taken aback by the news, which he did not expect, and which surprised Sánchez at a summit in Montauban with French President Emmanuel Macron. Both will appear together in a press conference that will undoubtedly quickly be the protagonist of this shocking change in the Spanish Government.
The current vice president, in a completely unexpected decision, thus immerses himself in Madrid politics with the aim of defeating the regional president. For this, Iglesias hopes to reunite around his figure the Madrid left. “The enormous opportunity requires the responsibility and the height of vision necessary to all go together in a left-wing candidacy that is capable of winning Ayuso. I am going to propose a single candidacy to the Mas Madrid colleagues to win, ”the vice-president underlines in the recording released this Monday. “This is what people on the left are asking of us.”
The union of Podemos and Más Madrid would once again join the paths of the two founders of Podemos. Their relationship was eaten away by Cainite struggles in a battle to the death for party leadership. Iglesias ended up winning and the departure of Errejón de Podemos, in the arms of Manuela Carmena and under the acronym of Más Madrid, threatened to break the match. Just a few days ago, when Díaz Ayuso announced the call for early elections, the deputies of Más Madrid assured that their candidate would be Mónica García. But then nobody counted on the disembarkation of Iglesias in Madrid politics.
The vice president’s decision is a surprise for both the PSOE and its formation. Iglesias, who assumed his portfolio in January 2020, had become in these 14 months that the coalition has been running in the protagonist of the biggest disagreements between the partners. Aware of his weakness as a minority partner, he relied on a confrontational strategy to achieve some of the key measures for his electorate. Right now they were in the middle of negotiating one of the most relevant issues for United We Can, the housing law. The internal battle in the coalition will continue, although now Iglesias will focus on the Madrid campaign. Some leaders of United We can believe that a good result from Iglesias in Madrid, a community where this group had the serious risk of not reaching 5% and disappearing, will be a great boost for them at a time of great weakness. The Madrid result, where Ciudadanos also runs a high risk of not reaching 5%, will thus completely mark the legislature, but it is difficult to calculate in what direction and, above all, if there will be another surprise script twist. Anything is possible in the electric world of post-bipartisan politics.
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.