Sunday, December 10

The PSOE delays the primaries to elect a candidate in the Madrid City Council

Pedro Sánchez has not yet plucked the leaves of the daisy and the PSOE has decided to postpone the appointment of the candidate to the Madrid City Council. The intention of the Madrid federation led by Juan Lobato was to complete the primary processes in October in order to have the candidates for mayor as soon as possible and, especially, the one for the capital, which is of vital importance in a territory that the PSOE resisted for decades. That is why the regional leadership aspired to have that name now and launch the campaign against Isabel Díaz Ayuso and José Luis Martínez Almeida. However, there has been a change of plans and the designation will be delayed until November, according to sources from the Madrid federation.

In the socialist ranks, they anxiously awaited Sánchez’s decision on the candidacy in the capital in recent days, where they were relegated to fourth position with the candidacy of former basketball coach Pepu Hernández. What they take for granted in the PSOE is that it will not be the current delegate of the Government in the Community of Madrid, Mercedes González, who was the candidate for that position, although she had not publicly announced her intentions. In recent months, the socialist leadership has carried out various surveys and qualitative studies in which González obtained very poor results. González, who is the general secretary of the newly created Madrid City group, has called an executive meeting for this Thursday and will announce that she will not attend those primaries.

With the postponement until the month of November -which was the date originally thought by Ferraz for the exceptions in the primary calendar that he generally wanted to start in September-, Sánchez gains time for the election of a candidate who can compete with Almeida. Some sources from the Madrid leadership maintain that there are options for the left to seize the City Council from the PP, although they see it as very difficult to do so in the case of the Community, where Ayuso swept away just over a year ago. What they guard with zeal in Moncloa is the name of the possible candidate, although the names of ministers such as Margarita Robles, Pilar Llop or Reyes Maroto sound. “We will present a good candidate,” they maintain in the Madrid PSOE.

The idea of ​​postponing the decision also delays a hypothetical government crisis in the event that any of the ministers end up in the municipal cartel. Thus, it will also wait until November in the case of Las Palmas, as the Canarian federation has requested. The PSOE currently governs there, but the mayor, Augusto Hidalgo, has already stated his intention to run for the Cabildo elections. Except for a last-minute surprise, the Minister of Health, Carolina DariaS, will be the candidate in that city, despite her initial reluctance. The postponement allows Darias to continue having the visibility of the ministry previously held by Salvador Illa -who ended up being a candidate and winning the elections in Catalonia- and to disembark in the official pre-campaign. Illa then waited until the last moment to leave the ministry.

Ferraz intends to announce in the next few hours the complete calendar of the primary processes to the regional and municipal governments of cities with more than 20,000 inhabitants, councils and island councils and the general meetings of the historical territories in those places where he does not govern. In most places there will be no battle, although some cities remain to be decided, such as Donostia, where the deputy and former mayor Odón Elorza caused a surprise by announcing his intention to compete, although the PSE leadership assumes that he will not have the sufficient support and that the official candidate, Marisol Garmendia, will head the list.

The main focus of conflict, however, is in Gijón, where a group of militants is collecting signatures for primaries with the aim of overthrowing the candidacy of the current mayor, Ana González. The socialist group is completely divided and the deadline for collecting signatures ends this Thursday. If the ‘critics’ get half plus one of the affiliates, there will be a primary process in that city. The management of Adrián Barbón, who has maintained his support for the current councilor, has chosen to take advantage of the first term of the process to settle the war as soon as possible. Sources from the Asturian federation fear that the controversy that has plagued the PSOE in the city throughout the summer will completely undermine the options of re-editing the municipal government.

The PSOE approved in July the calendar to elect the head of the list for the regional and municipal elections of May 28, 2023. The Federal Committee approved a calendar in which, in general, it established the primary process in October (on the 9th the first vote and 16 the second round). With that plan, the applicants would have to communicate it between September 19 and 20. Finally, there have been more federations than those initially planned that have taken advantage of ‘plan B’, which delays the process until December: November 21 and 22, the presentation of candidacies and voting on December 11 and 18 in case of being A second vote is required.