The very hard blow that the PSOE has received in the Madrid elections on May 4 has not changed Pedro Sánchez’s plans. The president of the Government and secretary general of the Socialists reiterated this Thursday repeatedly during the meeting of the federal executive that there will be no electoral advance. The general elections will be in the second half of 2023. “After the Madrid elections in May of that year,” he insisted several times, according to some attendees.
The open crisis in Madrid, where the PSOE has left 13 seats and 275,000 votes two years after winning the regional elections, has not altered Sánchez’s pulse. The roadmap has not changed: exhaust the legislature and hold elections in the second half of 2023. Just when Spain will assume the rotating presidency of the Council of the European Union. It will be the first time since 2010. Sánchez had already advanced in previous executives that this was his intention. But he had never done it at such a difficult time for the Socialists. The conclusion of several of the members of the management consulted is that in this way Sánchez tried to reassure the management after the last explosive days that the party is going through.
As expected, the federal executive of the PSOE reacted with fair self-criticism to the two fronts, to which more complicated, which have been opened in just three days. Neither more nor less than in Andalusia, where Susana Díaz will play all or nothing in mid-June for her leadership in the primaries approved this Thursday by Ferraz, and in the always indomitable federation of Madrid, on fire due to the 4-M disaster .
The resignation of José Manuel Franco as general secretary of the PSOE of Madrid was known just before the start of the meeting, which was held in person and online. The resignation of the candidate, Ángel Gabilondo, to the act of deputy in the Madrid Assembly occurred hours later. Two impactful decisions that, however, did not provoke, to the surprise of those present, a deep debate. The few voices that dared to question Gabilondo’s opposition to the management of Isabel Díaz Ayuso during the pandemic or the strategy followed in the campaign, led by La Moncloa and first focused on the voters of Ciudadanos and later prone to a pact with Pablo Iglesias, were not well received by the Prime Minister.
Some of the sources consulted by EL PAÍS acknowledge that they declined to refer to the bacatazo in Madrid due to the direct intervention that Sánchez had in the campaign. The leader of the PSOE intervened directly in the preparation of the lists, especially in the first positions of the candidacy. The general secretary influenced, in his closed defense of Gabilondo, in the bad results and the structural problem of the party for decades in Madrid.
“We have not put hot cloths to defeat”, affirmed at the end of the executive José Luis Ábalos, Minister of Transport and Secretary of Organization of the PSOE. But immediately afterwards the Number Three of the Socialists downplayed the result as it is a community in which the PP has chained governments consecutively since 1995. “The elections in Madrid are elections that respond to the reality of this territory, with a unique structure, where the PP he has been ruling for the last 26 years. And with a situation very affected by a certain fatigue of the restrictions that we have had to live throughout the pandemic, “he argued at the end of the meeting. “The PSOE has not made a strong opposition because we felt jointly responsible for the management of the pandemic,” acknowledged Ábalos, thus justifying Gabilondo’s lack of forcefulness.
The approval of the primary process in Andalusia, which takes place from autumn to June and where Díaz has already made it clear that he will wage a fierce resistance against the mayor of Seville, Juan Espadas, Ferraz’s favorite candidate, had the general approval of the address of the PSOE. It was not a surprise either: all the fifty members that make up the plenary of the executive supported Sánchez in his day to lead the party, except for the Extremaduran president, Guillermo Fernández Vara, and Patxi López, candidate in the primaries. of 2017.
“Given the possibility that the PP repeats the irresponsibility of calling elections in Andalusia, it has been decided to open the primary process in the Andalusian federation,” Ábalos explained. The intention was to call the primaries next Monday, the day the executive meets by custom, but Díaz’s decision to call the Andalusian PSOE leadership sped up the deadlines. The vote that will resolve once and for all the pending accounts that Sánchez and Díaz have dragged for four years will be on June 13.
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.