Six left-wing political parties sealed a pre-agreement on Monday to run together for the next elections in Andalusia under a single candidacy that still has no name or candidate. It is the starting point of an uncertain path: the last time the left united, three years ago, they ended in a civil war with expulsions and accusations of “transfuguismo”.
Teresa Rodríguez, unanimously elected candidate for the Board in the primaries of Adelante Andalucía
This time, the new confluence adds IU, Podemos, Más País, Verdes Equo and two other minor formations, the Andalusian Initiative of the Andalusian People and the environmentalist Green Alliance, of Juan López Uralde. Together they monopolize 85% of the Andalusian political board to the left of the PSOE, although only the first two have had parliamentary representation.
A seventh party -Andalucía por Sí (Ax Sí)- also plans to join the pact in 48 hours, after consulting with its executive. Left out, by self-disposal, is the other progressive and Andalusian coalition, Adelante Andalucía, headed by the leader of Anticapitalistas, Teresa Rodríguez.
The pact is not definitive, in fact, each formation has its own interpretation of the “progress” achieved this Monday: IU and Podemos are the ones that have come out the most exultant, Más País and the Andalusians clarify that “nothing is closed” yet. The Íñigo Errejón brand in Andalusia has a different rhythm than Madrid, the latter subject to conditions that slow down the process and that have to do with the platform that the Second Vice President and Minister of Labor, Yolanda Díaz, intends to build.
All in all, what this agreement achieves in Andalusia is the closest thing to the “broad front” that Yolanda Díaz champions, when she outlines a participatory political project that includes groups from civil society, social agents and independent professionals of recognized prestige.
The Vice President of the Government is not part of this left-wing Andalusian entente and it is still unknown how much she will be involved in the next regional elections. On her first and only visit to Andalusia, on March 3 in Seville, she already announced that her project was under construction and that she “was not going to arrive on time” for the Andalusians.
However, members of the vice president’s team have held meetings with regional leaders of IU and Podemos, mainly to supervise from afar – “not protect” – the progress of the confluence, “and that it not remain in a simple sum of initials of parties, but to advance in the alliance with the Andalusian civil society”. The high degree of unity achieved by the seven left-wing formations at Monday’s meeting was “a precondition” for the minister to “actively participate” in the next election campaign, and not in a “residual or testimonial” manner. as it did with the Podemos rallies in Castilla y León, sources close to the negotiation explain.
Casa Sahara, an unchecking of the PSOE
This Monday’s meeting took place at Casa Sáhara, located in the center of Seville, a “symbolic space with clear political connotations” for all left-wing formations, highly critical of Pedro Sánchez’s swerve in Spain’s position regarding the Sahara conflict. The commitment of all of them to the Saharawi people and their denunciation of Morocco’s “oppressive” policies underlines, from its origin, an identity of its own distant from the PSOE, a partner of the Government of United We Can, and the only possible ally in Andalusia to snatch the Government to PP, Citizens and Vox.
This relationship with the socialists, between mutual dependence and the latent conflict of ideas, identifies the political space of the new confluence, and also distinguishes it from Teresa Rodríguez’s party. The Cadiz woman is equally or more belligerent with the Sánchez government, but she rejects outright any possibility of joining the PSOE in a coalition. The Andalusian Socialists, aware that they need a strong left-wing bloc to dispute the government with Juan Manuel Moreno, euphorically celebrated the pre-agreement.
The Andalusian leftist forces had not met again since last January 8, the first and only meeting that resulted in the abrupt departure of Teresa Rodríguez. The Cadiz woman asked as a condition to continue at the table the restitution of the 11 deputies expelled from the Adelante Andalucía parliamentary group -renamed United We Can- under the accusation of transfugism. There was, therefore, a certain “urgency” to go one step further in the convergence process and send “an unequivocal signal” that there was no turning back.
The meeting, sponsored by the mediators Sebastián Martín Recio and Francisco Sierra, started at 10:30 in the morning and lasted until 1:30 in the afternoon. “Representatives of IU, Podemos, Más País Andalucía, Partido Comunista de Andalucía, Verdes Equo and the Andalusian People’s Initiative have agreed to launch a joint programmatic process, create technical teams to continue advancing in the collaboration process and work for candidates with leaderships. social product of consensus”, reads the statement released this afternoon.
All the representatives have agreed that this “unity of action or confluence process must be open, broad and democratic, purely Andalusian, to establish a horizon of hope and an exciting political and government proposal for Andalusian society”. A new meeting is scheduled for next week in which the political leaders will call on other social actors to join in the confluence work.
The preliminary agreement is an important first step, but the difficulties involved in this convergence process are already apparent at the meeting. For example, among the signatories it is strange that the name of the Andalusian Communist Party appears, which is integrated into the IU. The reason is this: the Andaluces Levantaos coalition, which includes Más País, the Andalusian People’s Initiative and Andalucía x Sí (AxSí), did not sign the pact this Monday because the leaders of AxSí have asked for 48 hours to consult with their executive. This has forced the other two members to request that their respective parties appear with their own name, and the PCA has responded by doing the same. An example of the personalist counterweights that turn the process of unification of the left into a minefield.
Adelante Andalucía was the electoral brand that unified the left in the 2018 elections, then formed by Podemos, IU, Izquierda Andalucista and Primavera Andaluza. The invention did not go well, they achieved 300,000 votes and three seats less than in 2015 running separately[de 20 a 17], and the coalition would end up broken in internecine fights. Teresa Rodríguez and 11 other deputies were expelled for “turncoats” from the parliamentary group, and it was renamed United We Can for Andalusia.
The original brand remained in the hands of the Cadiz leader and the Anticapitalist circle, but now without the weight of its founding parties -Podemos and IU-, and with the Izquierda Andalucista broken in two (its leader, Pilar Távora, has gone over to the new coalition and this Monday he participated in the meeting with the rest of the leaders). Podemos and IU still claim ownership of the political subject that the Cadiz woman now leads, and it remains to be seen if they will challenge the use of the brand before the Andalusian Electoral Board.
Sources of the negotiation that took place this Monday agree that “it was necessary to launch a statement advancing the unit”, although there were loose fringes, such as that of AxSi. Last week the debate on the candidacy already heated up when Podemos Andalucía decided to promote its deputy in Congress for Cádiz, the civil guard Juan Antonio Delgado, as a possible candidate. IU had moved among her own the name of her own leader, Toni Valero.
Now the times of the confluence will be marked by the president of the Board, Juan Manuel Moreno, who must decide whether to dissolve Parliament in April and advance the Andalusians to June, or if he prefers to wait until autumn. The greater or lesser speed of the left to choose its name and its electoral poster will depend on the time that Moreno gives them, its leaders acknowledge. The plan, now, is to convene a “constituent assembly” in April, with the participation of social agents, professionals from the university and other fields, so that both the name and the candidate arise from a joint debate, and not from a signal from the direction of the parties.
Pilar Távora, former leader of the Andalusian Left, Tasio Oliver and Esperanza Gómez (Más País Andalucía), Mar González (Equo), Toni Valero (IU Andalucía), Nico Sguiglia (Podemos Andalucía), José Antonio Jiménez (Initiative of the Andalusian People) and Ernesto Alba (Communist Party of Andalusia). Martina Velarde, purple regional leader, has not been able to attend due to a health problem, and neither has Carmen Molina, from Alianza Verde. The professor of the Faculty of Communication of the University of Seville, Francisco Sierra, and the historic former IU leader and former mayor of Carmona, Sebastián Martín Recio, have promoted and mediated to facilitate the meeting of the seven parties.