Tuesday, May 17

The Andalusian left-wing candidacy faces litigation due to the absence of Podemos’ signature in the registry

The joint candidacy of the Andalusian left for the elections of June 19, registered around midnight on Friday under the brand ‘For Andalusia’ (PorA), was not celebrated by its members with fireworks, but with crossfire. Just a few minutes after confirming a deal in extremis between Podemos and IU -the majority partners-, the confluence was born weighed down by a legal imbroglio in the registration of the brand before the Central Electoral Board, from which Podemos was surprisingly excluded. Mutual mistrust has settled between the six parties involved in the confluence, although they hope to redirect the situation as soon as possible.

The purple formation, which rushed the negotiation times to the end to achieve more political weight within the coalition, was left out of the registry at the last minute. The joint candidacy that was registered at 11:57 p.m. – three minutes before the legal deadline expired – is made up of four of the six parties involved: IU, Más País, Equo and the Andalusian People’s Initiative.

Podemos and Alianza Verde were left out, although the purple formation ensures that their political agreement with IU prevails, and that the absence of their signature in the registry is “an administrative stumbling block” that they will try to solve by filing an appeal with the Electoral Board to achieve their ingress. From IU they also downplay the absence of Podemos and point out that the fundamental thing is that a political pact was achieved.

According to legal sources consulted, the appeal route has few signs of prospering, because it serves to correct formal issues in the drafting of the internal regulations of an electoral coalition, but not to replace it with another with more members. But the underlying problem is much more complex: the bilateral political agreement between Podemos and IU, released on Friday night by the purple formation, contradicts some sections of the coalition pact previously signed by IU, Más País, Equo and Initiative, which is the the only one valid before the Electoral Board.

With the two documents in hand, notable differences are perceived in terms of the governing bodies of the parliamentary group, the distribution of functions and, above all, the distribution of electoral subsidies and campaign expenses. The pact that the national leadership of Podemos sealed in extremis with IU, with the mediation of the Vice President of the Government, Yolanda Díaz, does not have the consensus of Más País and the rest of the members of ‘Por Andalucía’.

A logo without Podemos

In addition, the new brand of the coalition is accompanied by a logo in which the names of the four signatory parties appear, under a rainbow, but not that of Podemos or Alianza Verde. Changing that logo afterwards is almost impossible, from a legal point of view, according to the experts consulted. If the resource of the purple formation prospers -an improbable scenario, according to these sources- it could collide with the previous agreement that IU signed with Más País and the other two formations.

If it does not prosper, Podemos will only be an external guest in the coalition, its candidates will appear on the ballot as “independent”, they will not have direct access to financing, and their margin to claim what was agreed in the political agreement with IU will be very small: Neither the political weight in the provincial candidacies – headliner in four of eight constituencies – nor the control over economic resources (60% of electoral subsidies), which do not legally correspond to them as they are not part of the coalition, sources explain. legal proceedings, warning that the matter could end up before the Court of Auditors.

For now, the members of the leftist coalition call for calm and believe that everything will be redirected in the coming days. The deadline to present the provincial lists of candidates expires on May 16. The circumstance occurs that, of the six parties that have negotiated the confluence, only Podemos Andalucía had previously registered a general representative before the Central Electoral Board, so that he is still on time and in a position to attend the Andalusian elections in alone. “That scenario is not contemplated now,” they explain from the party’s leadership.

The birth of the great leftist coalition has aroused more skepticism and doubts than hope. The most veterans throw their hands to their heads, claim they have never seen anything like it and believe that the confluence is “stillborn”. For Andalusia, it is the vanguard of the “broad front” that Yolanda Díaz champions as a future project for the country, but bursts into the pre-election campaign with all the polls placing Juan Manuel Moreno’s PP on the verge of an absolute majority [55 escaños]and in full swing of the Vox candidate, Macarena Olona.

In 2018, the options to the left of the Andalusian PSOE went through a single ballot -Adelante Andalucía, led by Teresa Rodríguez- which achieved 16.18% of the scrutiny: 17 deputies and 584,040 votes. That first left-wing coalition was blown up, with 11 deputies expelled for “turncoats”, including Rodríguez herself, who repeats alone in these elections. The projection that manages the new confluence does not exceed 7 or 8% of the scrutiny at this time, according to negotiation sources, but they trust in doubling the numbers during the campaign.

being late for registration

12 hours after the mess before the Electoral Board, there is no unanimous version of what happened in those last minutes: IU and Más País maintain that Podemos “did not arrive on time to register”, despite all their calls to send the signature of their legal representatives, necessary to join the coalition.

The purple party, on the other hand, affirms that they sent their electronic signature on time, that their physical presence in the registry was not essential -located on the second floor of the Andalusian Parliament- and that it was a last-minute disagreement on the terms of the agreement between them and IU which left them out “against their will”.

One of the problems in understanding this mess is that there had been six parties negotiating the coalition for eight months, but in the final stretch the dialogue was limited to IU and Podemos, with an active presence of their national leaders. The candidate for the Presidency of the Board was at stake -finally the chosen one is Inma Nieto, IU deputy and spokesperson for United We Can in the Chamber- the distribution of the electoral poster in the eight provinces, the distribution of economic resources, the expenses of the electoral campaign and the technical personnel that each party will hire, and even the positions that they will occupy in the parliamentary extraction bodies.

Yolanda Diaz vs Podemos

But the hegemony of the progressive space in Spain was also at stake, which is disputed on a delayed basis and through the Andalusian pulse between Vice President Yolanda Díaz and the current leadership of Podemos, still under the aura of Pablo Iglesias. What unlocked the joint candidacy around midnight was precisely the intervention of Díaz, who has gone from the initial cautious distancing with the Andalusian process to a more active involvement, after his call for unity and his photo with Inma Nieto at the Fair of Seville.

The purple formation assures that it sent the document of its agreement with IU, attached to the form to register the coalition before the Electoral Board, at 11:29 p.m. IU confirms that the proposal came to them through Josep Vendrell, Yolanda Díaz’s trusted person. At 11:38 p.m., the IU regional coordinator, Toni Valero, gave his approval to that document, which is the one that would finally be distributed to the press.

The problem is that Podemos wanted the political agreement with IU to appear in the coalition form before the Electoral Board, something that is not essential, but that can appear in a specific section for “political clauses”, explain parliamentary sources. IU did not consider it necessary: ​​“because it is not legally binding, only politically”.

And Más País disagrees even more and points in another direction: “The document that Podemos sent us changed the coordinating body of the already agreed coalition, added things and removed other things that had already been agreed upon by the four signatory forces. Even if it had arrived at the registry on time, which it did not, we were not going to validate a document that they had not negotiated with us and in which, however, our signature appeared because they inserted it in the previous coalition’s form,” sources explain. of the errejonista party, emphasizing that the underlying problem is not legal, technical or administrative, but political.

Two side agreements

12 hours after announcing the agreement and registering as a coalition, Podemos and IU got involved in a crossroads of versions and accusations that overshadow all the political importance and electoral expectations that they could have deposited in this alliance. From the Andalusian Electoral Board they explain that neither the Podemos nor the IU version are decisive: the registration of the coalition does not have to be face-to-face, as IU and Más País maintain, who had their proxies in Parliament from ten o’clock the morning until the deadline expired, at twelve o’clock at night. The vast majority of political parties and coalitions that have registered for the Andalusian elections did so electronically, sending an email with the digital signature.

However, the Electoral Board also denies that it was “IU who had to register the coalition, since the candidate was theirs,” as Podemos defends. In the constitution document of the coalition ‘Por Andalucía’ the name of Inma Nieto does not appear, and the Electoral Board clarifies that there is no reason why. The logo of the four signatory formations does appear and the agreed distribution of the positions in the management bodies: six from IU, three from Más País, two from Equo and one from the Andalusian People’s Initiative. The 15-page text includes internal operating regulations, for example, on how to make political decisions in the event of disagreement between the parties or a tie.

On the distribution of electoral subsidies, the coalition agreement registered by the four formations does not say the same as the pact reached later between Podemos and IU. The first maintains that the distribution of the money destined to defray the expenses originated by the electoral campaign “will be carried out based on the percentage of economic contribution made by each coalition party according to the campaign budget that will be approved by the Coordination Team, provided that when the electoral subsidy covers 100% of the expenditure made”. In the agreement between Podemos and IU, the parliamentary and extra-parliamentary resources are distributed 60% for Podemos and 40% for IU, and campaign expenses and subsequent subsidies at 50%.

The section that establishes how the work teams of the ‘Por Andalucía’ coalition and the parliamentary group are created also presents great differences with the agreement reached in extremis between Podemos and IU, which distributes the advisers and collaborators to 60-40%. In this document, on which the final pulse pivoted to unclog the confluence, only the distribution of money, seats and positions in the institutions that would correspond to each one is discussed, under the presumption that they will achieve a broad and satisfactory electoral result. for everyone, according to the terms of this agreement.

The programmatic coincidence, the shared principles, the common objective of strengthening the block of progressive forces to stop the advance of the right-wing in Andalusia was the first thing that was agreed upon at the beginning of the negotiation. But it has been now, with the media focus on them, when they have aired the most basic discrepancies that had blocked the confluence: power and money.


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