The deputy prime minister of Spain has resigned from his post to stand in the regional elections in Madrid.
Pablo Iglesias, who leads the partner of the left-wing coalition Podemos, announced that he would leave office on Monday.
Iglesias said he had informed Socialist Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez of his decision to run in the May elections for the Madrid regional government.
in a video posted by his party on social mediaHe said his political efforts will be “of great use” to combat opponents in the Spanish capital.
Prime Minister Sánchez recognized Iglesias’ contribution to the government’s work and said he would announce cabinet changes in the coming days.
Speaking at a summit in Montauban with French President Emmanuel Macron, Sánchez said he had “wished [Iglesias] good luck in your new political adventure ”.
Yolanda Díaz, current Minister of Labor of Spain, has been proposed to assume the role of Deputy Prime Minister in charge of social rights as a candidate of Podemos in the next legislative elections of 2023.
A trip from nowhere to the government of Spain
It was only fifteen months ago that Iglesias led Podemos to Spain’s first coalition government in four decades.
The party was created in 2014, arising out of public anger over the austerity measures introduced after the European financial crisis in 2008.
Pony-tailed and famous for wearing open-necked shirts at official events, Iglesias was a political rookie before emerging as the leader of Podemos.
The party was able to put aside differences with the socialists of PM Sánchez (PSOE) to form a fairly stable executive, despite initial fears that the two parties would not last together for the full four years of the mandate.
Spain has just endured four consecutive years of elections that failed to produce a majority government.
But while Podemos has been losing momentum in the polls, analysts say Iglesias’s move is a big gamble, as it leaves the national political scene with no guarantees of winning the Madrid election.
Spain’s political shockwaves
Spain was plunged into political chaos last month when several alliances of regional governments collapsed.
In Murcia, the liberal Ciudadanos party withdrew its support for its conservative coalition partner, the Popular Party (PP) and announced a surprise pact with the PSOE.
The measure sparked a series of no-confidence motions in which other regional governments built on coalitions between Ciudadanos and PP, including Madrid.
On Wednesday, the president of Madrid, Isabel Díaz Ayuso, dissolved the executive to avoid a vote of no confidence and brought the elections forward to May 4.
Polls have suggested that Díaz Ayuso could seek to return to office by repeating in office in coalition with the far-right Vox party.
To avoid this, Pablo Iglesias said that he will ask Más Madrid, another left-wing splinter group of Podemos, to promote a single candidate while maintaining independence.
For his part, Díaz Ayuso said that voters in the capital region will have to choose “between socialism and freedom.”
Madrid is the richest region in Spain and has been a conservative stronghold since 1995, despite the PSOE winning the most votes in the last elections of 2019.
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism