Saturday, October 1

Schism in Donostia: the IU mayor resigns and accuses the Podemos spokeswoman of “verbal and physical violence”

The municipal group of the Podemos and IU coalition in Donostia, of which Equo is also a part because it derives from the 2019 municipal elections, is experiencing a moment of crisis in recent days as a result of the resignation of the IU mayor, Haizea Garay, who accuses his colleague from Podemos, Aitzole Araneta, who is the spokesperson and was the candidate three years ago, of “different episodes of verbal and physical harassment and violence.” Not many more details are offered. The accused, who does not make any statements, only categorically denies the facts through her social networks: “I do not know the reasons that have led Haizea Garay to leave her record. I respect her decision. I want to deny the serious accusations made against me and I will demand rectification. I will also take the appropriate measures to stop this defamation action.”

Odón Elorza, the loose verse of the PSOE that wants to return to the mayor’s office of Donostia

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Garay’s party does not go much further than the events already denounced at the end of last week, although it supports the former mayor of Donostia. IU does remark that Araneta “does not represent the values” of the leftist coalition and sees her as “incapacitated” to “hold public office.” Podemos, on the other hand, indicates that she was aware of her resignation “through the press”. “Both Podemos Euskadi and Ezker Anitza-IU were aware that the personal and professional relationship between Aitzole Araneta and Haizea Garay was tense and, therefore, both formations had been mediating for some time and trying to help improve personal relationships. Now, the accusations contained in the statement are extremely serious and we believe that the place to settle them is a court and not through a statement sent to the press”, sources from the purple formation abound. Some purple positions or former positions have publicly supported Araneta, awarded for her activism and the first woman in a transsexual situation to lead a municipal electoral list in Spain.

Elkarrekin Podemos-IU-Equo won three seats in the 2019 municipal elections. It was the fifth force with less than 10% of the votes, even behind the PP. The latest polls predict a decrease in support in the municipal elections of 2023, scheduled for May, although for the moment clearly above the 5% bar that would mean not obtaining representation. The spring EiTB survey, for example, pointed to an 8% voter intention. In the current context, Podemos prefers not to enter the questions about the continuity of Araneta or about the candidacy with IU. Equo was already out of the confluences in 2020 for having supported Íñigo Errejón in Madrid against Pablo Iglesias, although now there are new attempts to approach within the process led by Yolanda Díaz under the name of Sumar. IU, on its side, is immersed in a primary process to choose the positions that will later be integrated into the coalition, which has “the will to continue”, according to the sources consulted, and “also with the desire to expand it”. The conflict, for the moment, is “limited to Donostia”.

The municipal life of the Gipuzkoan capital lives in a context of many movements. Primaries will be held in the PSE-EE since the former mayor and deputy Odón Elorza has decided to compete against the party’s candidate, Marisol Garmendia, who made her debut at City Hall as an advisor to the PNV. The PNV has not started the candidate election process either, but, unlike Markel Olano in the Provincial Council, who has already announced his departure, no one has questioned the continuity of Eneko Goia. In the case of EH Bildu, precisely the Gipuzkoan institutions are the only ones in which they have not communicated their candidacies. Its general coordinator, Arnaldo Otegi, stated this Monday in Euskadi Irratia that he “supposes” that “in September” the proposal of the abertzale formation will be known, which seems to have already chosen the profiles.

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