Sunday, August 14

Adriana Lastra, the combative woman who ran out of “plenipotentiary power” in Sánchez’s PSOE

“Adriana assumes the plenipotentiary power”. It was the inauguration of the Minister of the Presidency, Félix Bolaños, after the profound remodeling that Pedro Sánchez did in the Government a year and a week ago when the environment of Adriana Lastra (Ribadesella, 1979) arrogated command to him after the fall of José Luis Ábalos with a bombastic phrase that actually contained a loss of effective power. It was Santos Cerdán who assumed the Secretary of Organization of the PSOE that was vacant. The Asturian, who was already considered ‘the boss’ in Ferraz, ceased to be a few days later the spokesperson for the Socialist Group in Congress and remained ‘only’ as Deputy Secretary General.

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It was the beginning of a new stage, despite the fact that Lastra turned against those who read the decision as a loss of power. He maintained that a new electoral cycle was ahead with the Andalusians first, the regional and general elections later, in which he would have to dedicate all his efforts to the party. But he will not meet the stage. The socialist leader has resigned from the deputy secretary general, arguing personal reasons due to a risky pregnancy. “Given the difficulty of combining the demands of rest and care, essential in my current situation, with the intensity required by the leadership of the Party, I have submitted my resignation as Deputy Secretary General of the Spanish Socialist Workers’ Party,” he says in the statement made public this Monday. She had three years of term left in front of her.

“You are an exemplary socialist,” Sánchez told her on Twitter: “We will continue working together.” For the moment she has accepted his resignation. We will have to wait to see what that future takes shape. She, for the time being, will keep her record as a deputy for Asturias.

The resignation occurs at a time when Sánchez was planning changes in the party to try to sow peace in the face of Lastra’s disagreements with the Secretary of Organization. The struggle for organic power had reached maximum levels of tension and triggered the socialist leader’s alarms due to the crash in Andalusia, where the campaign “was chaotic”, as defined by a leader who sees the movements from the sidelines. Now the restructuring of power within the party lies ahead. Among Lastra’s functions was communication and parliamentary strategy.

In recent times he had gone into the background after having gained solvency in the three years that he was a parliamentary spokesman after Sánchez’s arrival in Moncloa. One of the moments in which the leader wanted to show her relevance and political power was in the fight with United We Can and the rest of her parliamentary allies for the abolition of prostitution. Lastra, who has been one of the champions of feminism in the last stage of the PSOE, took on the matter in the first person. “The lobby pimp is very powerful and has many tentacles”, was one of the statements made by this strong-willed woman, but which has also been to a large extent the “glue” of the PSOE with United We Can and ERC. She was in charge of negotiating with Irene Montero the terms of the pre-agreement for the coalition government in the aftermath of 10N.

Lastra leaves an ‘orphan’ to a sector of the PSOE that had been faithful to her all this time and that, as happened when she left the parliamentary spokesperson, has come out to praise her on social networks. He has also done the barons who were more akin to him, such as the Asturian Adrián Barbón and the Castilian and Leonese Luis Tudanca. “He has been putting the party and the country before anything else for years and deserves to spend some time taking care of him. He has been one of the decisive people in the construction of the PSOE in recent years”, Tudanca said: “We owe him a lot and, without a doubt, it is a great loss for our project which, in any case, I am convinced will be temporary. ”.

There is also a silence that reveals the discomfort of a part of the PSOE that Lastra did not like because of his military manual. The Asturian leader has always valued her absolute loyalty to Sánchez and it was an attribute that she claimed without fissures, for which she did not handle internal dissidence well or what she considered it to be.

Lastra leaves the front line a year after choosing between the parliamentary spokesperson or the deputy general secretary of the party, which he reached at the hands of Sánchez in 2017. He was one of the people who was by his side when he was removed from the general secretary and of those who encouraged him to fight against Susana Díaz. Few are left of that team already in the hard core of the president. With his combative character and his clearly left-wing discourse, Lastra became one of the benchmarks of the militancy sanchista in that battle.

But it was not her first position in the federal Executive, to which she arrived supported by the then Asturian president, Javier Fernández, as head of Municipal Policy in Sánchez’s first term. With whom the manager later presided, she lost all relationship, as with many of those who were on the other side despite her previous friendship in that internal war that the PSOE went through. Before arriving in Madrid in the 2015 general elections, Ella Lastra had been a deputy in the Asturian parliament for eight years and had had important links with the social movements of the Principality.

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