Monday, August 2

Madrid, Pedro Sánchez’s concern and obsession

For both the PSOE and the PP, the Government Delegations have been test benches in which to test new names in their ranks before assigning them to higher tasks. Cristina Cifuentes left the Government Delegation in Madrid in May 2015 to become first the head of the PP list in the autonomous regions and later the president of the Community of Madrid. José Manuel Rodríguez Uribes left that same Delegation in April 2019 to become Minister of Culture and Sports of the coalition Government chaired by Pedro Sánchez a few months later. Pilar Alegría has now left the Government Delegation in Aragon to become Minister of Education and Professional Training, and perhaps in a few months a Socialist Aragonese baroness if Javier Lambán’s health advises it.

Since last March, the Government Delegation in Madrid has been led by a new name from the socialist seedbed: Mercedes González, 46 years old, until that date a councilor in the City Council of the capital. “Delegate of iron and nemesis of Ayuso”, titled Abc about her shortly after. On Monday of last week, the 12th, the delegate was in the inauguration as new ministers of three other ‘young promises’ of Madrid socialism: Félix Bolaños (45 years old), Minister of the Presidency, Relations with the Courts and Democratic Memory ; José Manuel Albares (48), Minister of Foreign Affairs, European Union and Cooperation; and Pilar Llop (48), Minister of Justice. The four, the three ministers and the delegate, are some of the names recently promoted by Pedro Sánchez and with whom he trusts that his party will begin the comeback where it suffered the recent serious fall: the Community of Madrid.

The defeat of the PSOE in the Madrid regional elections on May 4 was resounding: about 273,000 fewer votes, 13 fewer seats, 10.4 percentage points of votes less and going from first to third political force, and not even the leader of the opposition. So noisy that the regional leadership of the party – headed by José Manuel Franco, also a former government delegate – was replaced by a manager led by Isaura Leal, a veteran leader very close to Sánchez, and the project as a whole was taken to workshops for urgent repair . In a few months, at the regional socialist congress to be held shortly after the Federal Congress scheduled for mid-October, the Madrid PSOE will be practically re-founded. Sánchez knows that, if he cannot recover the project and electoral support in Madrid, he runs a great risk of crashing in the next general elections. In the recovery of Madrid his is going to him.

The Madrid Socialist Group, founded by Pablo Iglesias Posse in 1879, while he founded the PSOE, has been re-founded several times in recent decades, since the transition. In 1977, as the Madrid Socialist Federation (FSM). In 2004, as the Socialist Party of Madrid-PSOE. In 2015, as PSOE of Madrid (PSOE-M). It has always been a complex and complicated organization, probably the most of all those that make up the PSOE. Several political families not well off; weak leaderships, and leaders who, when they cease to be one, shake against the house or against the federal leader or against both (Joaquín Leguina, Tomás Gómez …); Frequent management commissions after so many crises (one in 2007 chaired by Cristina Narbona, another in 2015 chaired by Rafael Simancas, another now chaired by Leal) and internal ideological, organic and territorial confrontations may explain why the PSOE-M does not govern in its natural territory, the Community of Madrid, for 26 years and in the City Council for 32. 18 years ago, in 2003, the tamayazo (an internal betrayal, probably with external stimuli), prevented the socialists from reaching the autonomous power that they had given the ballot boxes.

Pedro Sánchez (49 years old now) joined the PSOE, the WFTU, in 1993. The Madrilenian is the federation in which he is active. Getting it to work and out of his near-permanent crisis has become more than just a concern for him: an obsession. Not only because of the strength that Isabel Díaz Ayuso (PP) has shown but also because of her own weakness and because of the strength of Más Madrid and the resistance of United We Can to her left.

In addition to the aforementioned names, there are others launched to compete with each other, now for organic positions (general secretary of the PSOE-M and general secretary of the PSOE of Madrid city, newly created position) and later for the candidacies for Community and City Council . Many were on the electoral list last May. Number two -after Ángel Gabilondo-, Hana Jalloul (43), former Secretary of State for Migration. Number four, Juan Lobato (36), former mayor of Soto del Real. The fifth, Irene Lozano (50), until four months ago Secretary of State for Sports … Number three on that list, by the way, was Pilar Llop.

Bolaños, Albares, Llop, González, Jalloul, Lobato, Lozano … Two more names for those Madrid socialist pools: Reyes Maroto (47), recently endorsed by Sánchez as Minister of Industry, Commerce and Tourism; and Fran Martín Aguirre (40), new secretary general of the Presidency of the Government -where he succeeds Bolaños- and number two of the manager. At the end of the year, the first sieves.

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