Spain: Socialist leader gets back top seat

Pedro Sanchez to helm divided PSOE, threatening conservative minority government

Spain: Socialist leader gets back top seat

World Bulletin / News Desk

 Pedro Sanchez, the former head of Spain’s Socialist Party (PSOE) who was ousted by fellow Socialist politicians last October, has been restored to his position of secretary general after a leadership vote on Sunday, the party confirms.

The results come as a surprise, as polls leading up to the primary elections positioned Sanchez’s rival, Susana Diaz, as the clear winner.

Yet, Sanchez won by a landslide -- of the nearly 190,000 registered PSOE voters able to cast their ballots on Sunday, 49.8 percent voted for Sanchez compared to 40.3 percent for Diaz and 10 percent for the neutral third candidate, Patxi Lopez, with 90 percent of the vote counted.

Sanchez led the PSOE between 2014 and October 2016, until, in the midst of Spain’s political crisis during which the country had gone nearly a year without a functioning government, 17 members of the party’s executive committee resigned.

They did so in a move to oust their leader, who had been unwilling to support a conservative government led by Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy. Sanchez resigned days later.

Diaz, the regional president of Andalusia, led the faction of the party that wanted Sanchez out and a functioning government in, and she had the backing of most of the party’s politicians.

Shortly after Sanchez' resignation, the PSOE, headed by an interim leader, allowed Rajoy to form a government and the Socialists converted into the official opposition in the Spanish Parliament.

But now that Sanchez is leader again, Rajoy may have new difficulties in managing his minority government. Sanchez continues to preach his “no is no” policy when it comes to Rajoy and the ruling Popular Party.

However, the Socialists remain bitterly divided, both in voters and in leadership.

Sanchez led the party to historically poor results in the past two Spanish elections, as Spain’s left wing was shaken up by the meteoric rise of Podemos, a party that is both more radical and less tainted by corruption scandals than the PSOE, which has a 138-year-long history.

Last Mod: 22 Mayıs 2017, 08:09
Add Comment