Wednesday, January 19

Non-aggression pact in the Andalusian left: can United We can give the Adelante brand to Teresa Rodríguez?

The United We Can for Andalusia coalition has set a roadmap to achieve the reunification of the left and prevent the fragmentation of the vote in four ballots – three to the left of the PSOE – from facilitating the victory of the right in the 2022 elections. Contacts have already started. The most difficult chapter of this strategy consists of rebuilding bridges with the Anticapitalistas leader, Teresa Rodríguez, her former partner and former leader of the Adelante Andalucía parliamentary group, in which they were active together until she was expelled with ten other related deputies under the accusation of turncoat.

The objective that Toni Valero, Andalusian coordinator of IU, and Martina Velarde, leader of Podemos Andalusia, have set for themselves is that all the leaders of this left-wing diaspora in perpetual litigation end up, once again, under the same acronyms and the same political project . “A broad front”, they say, paraphrasing the vice president of the Government, Yolanda Díaz. The road to achieve this is long and strewn with stones, because the mistrust and mutual animosity that have been expressed in the past is total.

So that to create a “framework conducive” to understanding, Unidos Podemos has “parked the legal dispute with Anticapitalistas”, that is, the intention to challenge before the Electoral Board the use of its old brand, Adelante Andalucía, with which Teresa Rodríguez intends to present himself again to the next Andalusian women, explain sources from the coalition. “All these latent crises have been removed from our roadmap to be able to go to the polls together and stronger,” they add.

It is not that the legal recourse has been ruled out outright, it has simply been left “on hold” because the objective now is to achieve the unity of the left. Of course, if that company did not prosper, if there were no “tactical” reconciliation between Teresa Rodríguez and her former partners, the dilemma for Unidos Podemos would be the same: how to reconcile the discourse of “unity on the left”? electoral campaign, you initiate a legal litigation against your old companions to avoid that they compete with the name Adelante? Should the brand be definitively renounced in pursuit of a less ambitious common goal, which Rodríguez has called a “non-aggression pact”?

This possibility has supporters and detractors at United We Can, according to various sources consulted. For some, the wounds are very recent and they do not see with good eyes giving up a project that they built together and that generated so much enthusiasm in the 2018 electoral campaign, although the result was far below their expectations. “We did not renounce Adelante, they cornered us first, then they invited us to leave because they wanted to turn it into an Andalusian CUP,” they recall, although they immediately added that “reviving the entire war will only harm us and our common goal, which is to prevent that the right consolidate itself in power and continue filing the public services of Andalusia “.

Other members of United We can defend that the “legal dispute” is secondary, because now they are focused on “doing everything possible to concentrate all the forces of the left under the same ballot, so that the electoral system does not penalize us and our division. the rights are re-benefited. ” The challenge of the Adelante Andalucía brand before the Electoral Board “is not a letter” in the negotiation with Teresa Rodríguez, “it is not a gun on the table” to convince her that it is best to attend the Andalusian women together. “The result of the 2D was very clear: a Government of PP and Citizens supported by the extreme right of Vox. Now we know. Are we going to do the same? Isn’t it worth talking about?”

The 4D Manifesto

On December 4, coinciding with the commemoration of the mass demonstrations of 1977 for full Andalusian autonomy, the United We Can coalition launched a manifesto that contained a series of founding principles, but also the roadmap to try to reunify the forces. left, political and social: “A broad front to win Andalusia”. That document contained a very thoughtful paragraph that opened the door to regain relations with Teresa Rodríguez, the leader of Anticapitalista, expelled by her partners from the Adelante Andalucía parliamentary group, under the accusation of a turncoat.

It is the closest thing to an armistice in the Andalusian left. In narrative terms, it is as if Marcus Junius Brutus called Julius Caesar to reconcile after stabbing him in the Senate of Rome. [léase que el papel de Bruto es igualmente atribuible a unos y a otros, según el concepto de “traición” que se profesan sus protagonistas] The paragraph in question reads like this: “Let us learn from our mistakes and overcome the divisions of the past. Let us make the best of each and everyone available to our people to change the course of Andalusia. Let us continue to deepen the construction of unity. We know that unity is not built around people and acronyms. Unity is built around ideas and proposals. ” And he concluded with an appeal “to the political and social organizations with which we share a vision of the change that Andalusia needs. In the broad Andalusian front, there is no one left over.”

A few days after launching this message, the spokespersons for United We Can in Andalusia, Toni Valero and Martina Velarde, agreed on how and when to initiate the first round of contacts with the rest of the leftist formations: Valero would phone Esperanza Gómez, leader of Más País Andalusia and visible head of a new electoral coalition: Andalusians Levantaos; and Velarde would call Teresa Rodríguez.

It was the first rapprochement between those who were co-founding partners of Adelante Andalucía, the only electoral brand on the left in the PSOE in the 2018 elections. Now there are three, the result of internal division and the fratricidal confrontation of their leaders. The tangle of betrayals, disappointments and stabbings that are synthesized in the expression contained in the UP manifesto – “our mistakes and divisions of the past” – provide material for a serial about the power struggle and the collapse of a political ideal crushed by the inability to understand between its protagonists. Adelante Andalucía was the result of very, very high expectations of unity on the left -with the ambition to overcome a worn-out PSOE after 37 years in power-, so that the collapse of the project, after the failure of the elections that they gave way to the first Andalusian right-wing government, it was proportional.

That fall from very high left the Andalusian left broken into three pieces, which have continued to tear each other apart ever since. Velarde’s first call to Teresa Rodríguez seeks to rebuild relationships in a very, very complicated scenario, because the wounds are very recent and still ooze. Not two months ago that those in charge of United We Can in the Andalusian Parliament denounced the woman from Cádiz, now on the non-affiliated bench, for having irregularly used 20,000 euros from the Adelante parliamentary group for the rental of two flats in Seville for eight non-deputies. ascribed, linked to Anticapitalistas. An expense that the auditor of the Chamber considered “incompatible” with the accommodation allowances already received by their lordships, said his report, which struck squarely on the moral frontispiece of Rodríguez, an arduous litigant against the allowances charged by the deputies. “They want to annihilate us. They want us politically dead,” said the woman from Cádiz.

Despite the political and personal scratches, all the left forces agree on a maxim: reaching the Andalusian elections of 2022 with the progressive bloc fragmented into four ballots -PSOE, United We Can, Adelante Andalucía and Andaluces Levantaos- “is a very serious historical error “. The three forces to the left of the socialists try to conspire so that this does not happen, because they are convinced that the direct consequence will be that “the right will consolidate in power, probably forming a government or supported by the extreme right.” The polls of voting intention published point to a comfortable victory for the president and regional leader of the PP, Juan Manuel Moreno, although without the majority necessary to reissue his coalition government with Ciudadanos. The oranges would be almost extinct and their space, as a preferred partner, would be occupied by Vox.

With that sea in the background, Valero calls Esperanza Gómez and Velarde telephones Teresa Rodríguez, and they all seem to agree on the merits of the matter, although storms hit the surface. “The rapprochement with those from Más País and their Andalusian allies is easier, because we do not share with them a past as shattered as the one we have with Teresa,” admit IU sources. But the 4D manifesto is clear and the call of the current leader of Podemos Andalusia to her predecessor makes it known: the objective that United Podemos pursues is “maximum.” It is not enough with “a non-aggression pact” between the left, which would pave the way for the right, as Rodríguez wrote on his Facebook account to summarize his conversation with Velarde.

There are intermediaries, people from the field of the left, civil society and the university world, even former leaders who maintain good relations with all the factions in the contest that are acting as “blue helmets” to promote the reunion, at least tactically, of face to the next Andalusian women. One of the handicaps that this dialogue is encountering behind the scenes is that Unidos Podemos has not yet chosen its candidate, and the profile of the person who will represent the “broad front” of the left may be decisive in the agreement and the break .

The coalition downplays the name and postpones the decision until March, if Moreno convenes in June or October, as he has announced. But the dilemma is not resolved between the partners either: Valero has begun to run, although not openly; Velarde has dismissed himself, but in Podemos they do not want to let the candidacy fall to a leader of IU. Nor is it ruled out that there is an independent candidate, if he manages to unite the will of all.

What is being sought, however unimaginable it may seem now, is reunification. The reconciliation of the former partners, architects of civil war in the progressive bench, for a common project that goes through widening the left-wing bloc to prevent Moreno from continuing to govern. The latest barometer of the Centra, a macro-survey financed by the Ministry of the Presidency, continues to forecast the advantage of the block PP, Ciudadanos and Vox [51,5%] on the PSOE block, United We Can, Adelante Andalucía and Andaluces Levantaos [42,8%].

The origin of the break

The “unilateral” use of the Adelante Andalucía brand by Anticapitalistas and the reorientation of the political project towards more sovereign positions -almost nationalist- is at the origin of the dispute between Podemos, IU and Teresa Rodríguez, which led to the collapse of the confluence and civil war between its founders. The circle of the woman from Cádiz registered Adelante’s name in the registry of political parties of the Ministry of the Interior, under the pretext of preventing it from being appropriated by the Errejonistas. After the elections, IU demanded that Rodríguez remove the trademark from the registry – controlled only by Anticapis – and claimed that the confluence was a joint project. There was no understanding; in fact, Rodríguez took control of Adelante after leaving the leadership of Podemos Andalucía, and began to adopt decisions with a new majority of the parties that were members of the coalition that she herself had fostered by facilitating the entry of Anticapitalistas (documents politicians, bank accounts, social media accounts …).

What follows is known to all: IU and the new leadership of Podemos would end up expelling Rodríguez de Adelante, taking refuge in an express reform of the Parliament’s regulations, and accusing his former partner of a “turncoat.” The woman from Cádiz and the 10 deputies closest to her have occupied the bench of the non-attached since then, with hardly any legislative capacity in the Chamber, without the possibility of asking questions, registering initiatives or exercising control over the Government of Juan Manuel Moreno.

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