Healing the rift

OLD BLOOD: Patxi Lopez.

CLEVER Patxi! Patxi Lopez has taken the political equivalent of a selfie and put his name down in PSOE’s secretary general race.

Lopez is old blood instead of Pedro Sanchez’s new blood which caused such bad blood in the PSOE. As secretary general Sanchez appealed to the paid-up party membership – aptly described in Spanish as militants – but not the voters or party hierarchy.

Former president of the Basque region, Lopez was briefly Speaker following the December 2015 elections. He backed Sanchez’s ‘no means no’ stance over Mariano Rajoy’s investiture bid but later abstained.  Nothing to complain about there, then – unless you’re Susana Diaz and thought you had it in the bag. 


Change of heart

EX-SECRETARY GENERAL Pedro Sanchez has a problem and not only with Patxi Lopez or Susana Diaz.

Backing for Sanchez in his tug-of-war with the party hierarchy stemmed not from support for his person, but his refusal to allow Mariano Rajoy to form a government.  Baleares regional president, Francine Armengol, and Idoia Mendia, secretary general of the Basque socialists, have now spelled that out to Sanchez.

The PSOE membership, which famously chose Sanchez in the 2014 primaries dropped by several thousand under his leadership.  The militants might not be enamoured of the Managing Committee headed by Javier Hernandez but will they come out for Sanchez now that Patxi Lopez has thrown his hat in the ring?  Or will it be ‘No means no thank you?’


Of primary concern

SPAIN’S president Mariano Rajoy has compromised over the primaries that some in the Partido Popular are calling for.  

Members up to date with their dues will vote for candidates in a first round.  In the second, the party’s US-style delegates, will vote for those obtaining more than 10 per cent of the vote. 

Galicians like Rajoy are notorious for answering questions without giving a definite reply.  And this, for the time being, is his response to an issue that brought so much grief to the PSOE.


Undesired effect

EX-PRESIDENT Jose Maria Aznar has severed most of his links with the Partido Popular but confirmed that he does not intend to start a new right-wing party.  Not that he is going to keep quiet, he warned, which will do neither Rajoy nor the PP any harm.  Criticism from Aznar is praise indeed.



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