Podemos and Izquierda Unida park their differences and continue adding alliances for 28-M | Spain | The USA Print

Podemos and Izquierda Unida have stepped on the accelerator in recent weeks to close electoral agreements for the municipal and regional elections on May 28. Three months after those elections, and after the tensions unleashed by the process in Andalusia and the discrepancies around the project of Vice President Yolanda Díaz for the general elections, the two parties have put aside their differences and will run together in at least eight of the elections. 12 communities at stake. In four of them (Navarra, the Canary Islands, Murcia and Cantabria), the ballot for both will be the same for the first time. With few exceptions, however, the “broad front” advocated by the main forces of Unidas Podemos will have to wait and Más Madrid or Compromís have prioritized independent candidacies. Although Díaz’s role has yet to be specified and the head of Labor is reluctant to have a leading role in these elections, the pacts of the left in certain squares pave the way for her participation in the campaign.

This Wednesday, Podemos and IU announced the reissue of the agreement for regional and municipal governments in Castilla-La Mancha. The pact includes the environmentalists Equo and Alianza Verde —the latter also integrated into the alliances of a good number of communities— and talks are still continuing to establish the coalition in the Valencian Community (several sources take it for granted) and La Rioja. In this second case, the two organizations closed a preliminary agreement in the last quarter of 2022 that gave IU the head of the list, but it has not yet been ratified. In a interview this week to TVR, the regional network, the United Left candidate, Henar Morero, blamed the state leadership of Podemos for not having finalized the pact and described its position as an “error” as it was generating “noise and uncertainty.” “More than blocking, it is postponing,” she explained. “They want to close (first) all the sites in which they are going to lead,” interpreted the deputy.

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The coalition seems more complicated in Asturias and Aragón, two communities in which Podemos and IU have historically gone separately. In the first case, the organization led by Sofía Castañón in the Principality is divided in two —which makes dialogue difficult— and the unity around the regional candidacy of Covadonga Tomé, critical of the current executive, does not seem to be thrive.

In addition to this week’s pact in Castilla-La Mancha, until now confluences have materialized for regional and municipal governments in Navarra (there also with Batzarre and Independientes), Madrid, Murcia, Extremadura, the Balearic Islands, Cantabria and the Canary Islands (six of which are closed since mid-January), in addition to agreements for municipalities in Catalonia and the Basque Country. In the Canary Islands, the parties negotiated for months at a five-party table, but the irruption of Proyecto Drago, the platform of the ex number three of Podemos Alberto Rodríguez and its inclusion in the Turia Agreement, the alliance of parties promoted by Íñigo Errejón, altered the talks. Finally, Podemos, IU and Sí se Puede will compete together on 28-M, while those of Rodríguez will do so at least with Verdes Equo Canarias, Ahora Canarias and Los Verdes Canarias. In Murcia or Extremadura, the agreement between the two formations contemplated the incorporation of other forces such as Alianza Verde (already finalized) or Más País (with whom IU has held talks for months).

Faced with the crisis unleashed in the second half of last year as a result of the Andalusian elections —in which the formation of the minister Ione Belarra rushed the deadlines so much that it ended up out of the register of the confluence of lefts—, pragmatism has prevailed now in negotiations. Podemos is at stake to revalidate its presence in up to six regional executives (Navarra, La Rioja, the Valencian Community, the Balearic Islands and the Canary Islands) and after the setback in the 2019 polls (the party was left out of the parliaments of Castilla-La Mancha and Cantabria and with the exception of of Barcelona and Cádiz lost all the “cities of change”), the risk of disappearance emerges in territories such as the Community of Madrid, where the organization of Mónica García is strong and a greater fragmentation of the vote between Podemos and IU, a prioriit doesn’t help.

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Broad confluence formulas that include Más Madrid or Compromís are an exception. Until now, in the Rivas City Council, in the same way as in Valencia, the party that the deputy Joan Baldoví leads in the autonomic ones has opened up to joint candidacies in municipalities such as Gandía, Torrevieja and Orihuela.

In the cases of Andalusia, Galicia and Castilla y León, which only celebrate municipal ones, there is no closed global agreement. In cities like Jaén, Córdoba and Seville, Podemos and IU will go together. Talks are still ongoing and other capitals could join. Más País withdrew from those agreements at the beginning of the month and its participation in those elections has yet to be finalized. In Galicia, the land of Yolanda Díaz, nothing is definitive either, but the panorama is complex and varies from city to city. The relationship with Anova differs and the BNG has strengthened. For now, the agreement between Podemos and Esquerda Unida is closed only in A Coruña, but Marea Atlántica will present its own ballot.

“Podemos has been working from the beginning and betting on ensuring unity at all levels. Our project is from the beginning a project to bring together as many political actors as possible, proof of this has been United We Can, the confederal table and all the alliances in the different elections ”, sources from the Belarra leadership now claim. For the party, these elections are “priority” and they are summoned to continue working “with discretion” to add new agreements. From IU, the federal head of Organization, Ismael González, is “satisfied” with the agreements reached and the expectations of those that are still underway. “Citizens are going to have perfectly recognizable transforming left candidacies to which they can give their support in the first appointment of this electorally complex year,” he points out, also in relation to the general ones scheduled for the end of the year. For that appointment, the vice president seeks to build a coalition of up to 15 parties that brings together the entire space to the left of the PSOE. Meanwhile, the presence of Díaz in the May elections is one of the main unknowns. The head of Labor declared her intention to be present only in those territories where there was unity, such as Catalonia, a long time ago, although she also congratulated the pact in Navarra during Sumar’s tour and the leadership of Podemos has already asked her to get involved in the campaign . The party also fears that a poor result in these elections will serve to weaken its representation on future platform lists. At the moment, everything is up in the air.

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