Sunday, October 2

Regional Congress: Sánchez exhibits the unity of the PSOE in Andalusia after the term of Susana Díaz | Spain


The strategic importance of Andalusia for the immediate future of the PSOE has been made very clear in the congress of the largest socialist federation. The fight that Pedro Sánchez and Susana Díaz fought for control of the game has long been resolved, and Ferraz’s harmony with Juan Espadas could not be better. But nobody escapes the weakness that the PSOE is going through in its main barn of votes with a project under construction after the impact which meant the loss of the Board in 2018 after 37 years of socialist reign. In a context marked by a possible electoral advance in spring, a decision that depends on the president, Juan Manuel Moreno, Ferraz and La Moncloa have turned to the new secretary of the 46,000 Andalusian socialist affiliates. The objective, as Sánchez has stressed from beginning to end, is to regain power in the most populated community in Spain. “Juan, you are going to be a great president of the Junta de Andalucía. You will have me as one more for when elections are called “, said the president, who has made explicit his” deep respect “for the” most important federation of the PSOE “.

Sánchez has influenced the message of unity, which has already characterized the 40th Federal Congress of the PSOE, as a necessary requirement to be competitive at the polls. “After seeing what we are seeing in other organizations, let us remember that Pablo Iglesias warned that neither shrillness nor rudeness made the parties strong,” he asserted in an implicit reference to the crisis between Pablo Casado and Isabel Díaz Ayuso for control of the PP of Madrid. Espadas has not gone out of the script either. The secretary general has called to close ranks after the injuries caused by the 2017 federal primaries and the Andalusian primaries last June, in which he won the former president with 55% of the votes. Díaz has attended the congress as a guest and has reiterated her support for her successor to return to the Board. Sánchez has made the same offer to Espadas that he made to Díaz in 2015 to form an electoral tandem. Then he said to Díaz, with great anger on her part, “you to San Telmo and I to La Moncloa.” “We are going to do it, Juan and I, he in San Telmo and I in Madrid,” he told Espadas on this occasion.

The rearmament of this federation and its reconnection with the street transcends the Andalusian PSOE. The rush is pressing in Ferraz and La Moncloa, where they are aware that a bad result in the regional elections, whether or not there is advancement – at the latest they would be in November 2022 – could be lethal for Sánchez’s aspirations. The Prime Minister needs to compensate for the strength of the right in Madrid and other interior territories in its large fishing grounds. And the main one has traditionally been Andalusia. “I do not wish you to do well, I ask you. For any socialist in Spain it is decisive that this be the case ”, Emiliano García-Page has been direct in a video in which the nine regional presidents of the PSOE have shown their support for Espadas.

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With 8.4 million inhabitants, Andalusia is the community that contributes the most deputies to Congress: 61 seats out of 350. The following are Catalonia (48) —where the PSC won the last autonomic elections and hopes to grow, compared to the worst results of the PP— and Madrid (37). The Socialists have prevailed in their main barn in 13 of the 15 general elections that have been held since the restoration of democracy. Sánchez won 13 and 10 more seats than Pablo Casado in Andalusia in the April and November 2019 elections. But the polls right now mark a trend that favors the conservatives, who would benefit from the consolidation of Juan Manuel Moreno in the Junta. In Genoa, they also highlight that the two exceptions in which they were the most voted force occurred in recent times: the PP prevailed in the region in 2011 and 2016. Two decisive results for the arrival and consolidation of Mariano Rajoy in La Moncloa.

The fear is that the new project led by Espadas will not have enough time for the Andalusian PSOE to recover from the demobilization of its electorate in 2018. Susana Díaz lost the community at a time when 400,000 voters chose to abstain. The loss of support was almost 30% compared to 2015. The PSOE came back in the general elections, but the big question is the deterioration of the Government due to the ravages of the pandemic.

Other heavyweights from Ferraz and the Government have closed ranks with Espadas: the Deputy Secretary General, Adriana Lastra, and the Minister of Finance, María Jesús Montero attended the opening and closing. The Minister of Agriculture, Luis Planas, has been in the forefront at the closing, as the PSOE spokesman, Felipe Sicilia. The new general secretary of Madrid, Juan Lobato, has also been present at the Torremolinos meeting. A factor of mobilization of the electorate, reflect socialist sources, would be that the deputy spokesperson of Vox in Congress, Macarena Olona, ​​was the candidate of the formation of Santiago Abascal in the next Andalusian elections.

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Integration executive

After the 14th Regional Congress, the PSOE of Andalusia regained full harmony with the federal executive. Diaz’s previous leadership maintained continuous pulses with Ferraz, even after losing the primary elections. And those permanent clashes led the Andalusian PSOE to lose all its influence over the federal leadership of the party. The loss of the Junta also subtracted a lot of light from the once powerful Andalusian federation, even though it is still the largest. After Espadas’ victory in the June primaries and the 40th Federal Congress in mid-October in Valencia, this situation has begun to correct itself. The synchrony has been seen in the image of the congress itself, where red was the predominant color, when in other conclaves it was the green and white of the Andalusian flag. This time the Andalusian anthem did not sound at the closing ceremony and the International anthem did.

“It is already good to look at us in profile, where one and the other were from. I don’t want any angry socialist, we are a family and we will leave here like a pineapple, ”Espadas highlighted. The Secretary General’s speech has been more for domestic consumption than for projection abroad. In order to try to win the elections, the Andalusian PSOE needs to believe that it can do so and from there start up all its machinery to try to regain the confidence of the Andalusians.

The doubts that Espadas will be able to recover the autonomous government in his first attempt as a candidate are widespread in the Andalusian PSOE. The polls that are published – all of them mark an upward trend of the PP of Juan Manuel Moreno and the decline of the PSOE – what they do is flatten the socialists. The new regional leadership believes that the 14th Regional Congress is the starting point to break this inertia of discouragement.

In this sense, Espadas has called on his people to recover “the pride of being a socialist” and has vindicated all the socialist governments of Andalusia. “I am proud of those socialist governments. People with whom I worked, collaborated and whom I love, “he said, citing Díaz, but without naming either Manuel Chaves or José Antonio Griñán, who have been president of the Board for 23 years.

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Espadas has developed an integration executive by expanding the number of chairs in the management. The previous one had 48 members and the current one, 60. It was endorsed by 84% of the delegates to Congress, six points less than the last one from Susana Díaz. All its members will have a defined role, but the nucleus will be made up of those responsible for the nine areas in which the party’s work has been divided (Territorial Policy; Economic and digital transformation; Equality, Equity and Social Justice; Just ecological transition and Climate change; Citizenship and social rights; Institutional; Corporate; Communication, and Electoral Action).

The general secretary has incorporated the general secretaries of Córdoba (Antonio Ruiz), Cádiz (Irene García), Málaga (José Luis Ruiz Espejo) and Seville (Verónica Pérez) into the management, who have taken a step back to facilitate majority lists in the provincial congresses to be held in the month of December. Except for García, the rest supported Susana Díaz in the battle of the primaries. Another feature of the management is the presence of a good number of mayors and councilors, the ones most attached to the daily problems of citizens. Espadas understands that “municipalism is the door to recover the Government of Andalusia”, so it relies on the hearing of the councilors to connect with citizens.

Espadas closed the executive’s list late at night, contrary to what he intended. There were no, as on other occasions, struggles to be. The biggest problem came from the provincial groupings, the only area where the PSOE of Andalusia has power to govern in 58% of the municipalities of the community and in six of the eight provincial councils. This Monday ends the term of presentation of candidacies to the provincial secretariats. In all the provinces there are majority consensus or agreements, except for the moment in Huelva.

Espadas, the Deputy Secretary General, Ángeles Férriz, and the Secretary for Organization, Noel López, will be on the command bridge. Espadas wants the executive to become an electoral campaign committee and a “shadow government” from now on. This week he will announce when he leaves the mayor of Seville, which for the moment prevents him from dedicating himself fully to preparing his candidacy.


elpais.com

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