Vice-president Yolanda Díaz, together with the parliamentary spokesperson of Sumar, Marta Lois, at the start of the general election campaign in A Coruña last July. VANESSA CASTELEIRO
They have not yet been called, but the elections in Galicia, which must be held before July, are already a new arena of battle between the forces to the left of the PSOE. Movemento Sumar, Yolanda Díaz's party, has just been constituted in the community, as well as in the Basque Country, which will also hold its regional elections in the first half of 2024. While the formation of the second vice-president continues with the search for its own cadres, talks are tense with Podemos to form a coalition. After more than a month of discreet three-way negotiations, also with Esquerda Unida, this Saturday Podemos Galicia issued a statement in which it revealed the proposal made to Sumar for each formation to have 33% representation in the joint candidacy and criticized the lack of response from Díaz's party. Sources consulted by Movemento Sumar reject this formula.
"Adding Galicia is not about percentages, it is not a distribution of positions between parties," they warn. The preparation of the electoral lists takes place in a very complex context such as Galicia, and in which Díaz, who plays at home, premieres his project in a regional event. Despite the good results obtained in the general elections of 23-J, in which Sumar was the third force ahead of the Galician Nationalist Bloc (BNG), the fragility of the left in the territory is palpable. Neither Podemos nor Esquerda Unida (nor Anova or En Marea) achieved representation in the 2020 regional elections. After the space came together in 2016 and managed to become the first opposition force, the internal fights ended up devouring a coalition that for the last regional elections was divided and left Parliament and that in the municipal elections last May (with other acronyms) suffered a setback again. Marea Atlántica, for example, disappeared from the Coruña corporation, which had governed between 2015 and 2019, and the candidacy of Podemos, EU and Green Alliance did not manage to enter the City Council either.
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The regional leadership of Podemos Galicia has always been close to Díaz and its initial intention was to shield the talks to protect them from the climate of hostility that surrounds relations between Sumar and Podemos in Madrid – Ione Belarra has sought to stage her autonomy and distance herself from the vice-president's project. However, the note sent to the media on Saturday night after a meeting of the regional Citizen Council, the highest body between Congresses of Podemos Galicia, gives an account of the disagreements between the organizations. The text explained that at that meeting the coordinator, Borja San Ramón, made a call to "articulate a common candidacy as quickly as possible" in the face of a possible early election. The letter revealed that they had proposed forming a coalition signed at 33% between the three forces, "where they all recognize each other as equals." In the words of San Ramón, this approach has been pending a response from Movemento Sumar and its coordinator, Paulo Carlos López, "for weeks", without there having been a counteroffer.
"It is urgent to close an agreement that can be validated by the respective processes of the organizations, which in the case of Podemos is a consultation of those registered," warned the leader of Podemos in Galicia. As EL PAÍS has learned, the document proposed by his organization includes creating a promotion commission that, among other functions, would draw up a regulation to elect candidates through open primaries, one of the requirements of Belarra's formation in its new roadmap, and gives a predominance to Díaz's formation. both in the name of the coalition (Sumar Galicia) and in the spokesperson of the group. Sources from Esquerda Unida also welcome the approach made by the San Ramon party, which they see as "in tune with theirs" and advocate the existence of a space for "democratic work" that guarantees the "much-needed accumulation of forces" in the face of the elections.
Sumar responded on Sunday that this proposal "was already left behind in the first meeting", something that Podemos partially denies. From the party of the Minister of Labor they argue that they have just prepared a political document that, although it is not public, will serve as "the basis of the future Galician Government" and for which they have received more than a hundred contributions from professional, academic and cultural sectors that they will present at the meetings they plan to hold throughout Galicia. "Podemos did not want to comment on the document. He didn't propose anything," questioned sources from the organization, who, however, stressed that his hand "is still outstretched." "The people of Podemos are very valuable and we want them in Sumar Galicia." Despite the official deadlines still unknown, the road to the regional elections is long on the left and disputes threaten to spill over into parallel processes, as is the case in the Basque Country, where negotiations are underway between four formations, or the European elections on 9 June. In the latter case, Belarra's party has already suggested that it is considering running separately.
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