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Belarra and Díaz. SUR (file photo)
Spain's radical-left election deal goes to the wire

Spain's radical-left election deal goes to the wire

Today (9 June) is the deadline for the new Sumar group to form an alliance with Podemos, who are resisting taking more of a back seat

Neil Hesketh

Malaga

Friday, 9 June 2023, 09:20

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With Spain gearing up for its general election on 23 July, political parties are positioning themselves to make the best of the fight to come. The surprise vote was called by Socialist Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez after his party did badly in last month’s local and regional elections.

This week all eyes have been on the fragmented populist left-wing parties and whether they can form some sort of electoral alliance to go to the polls together, and so maximise their impact with voters. The official deadline to do so is today, 9 June, but negotiations have been going badly.

A current senior minister of the ruling PSOE-Unidas Podemos coalition government, Yolanda Díaz, has formed a new political party, Sumar. She is seen as a favourite of the PSOE’s Sánchez and suitable for a post-election pact on the left if the Socialist PSOE fails to win an overall majority in July.

However this has not pleased Podemos, previously the darling of the radical left but which has seen its support decline.

Its senior members, including two coalition ministers, Irene Montero and Ione Belarra, have been resisting calls to join Sumar on the ballot papers in July.

Some of their key players and their regional affiliates have already said they will form part of Sumar. However, Belarra was defiant in a social media message last weekend, “Since Podemos was founded we have always looked fearlessly at established power... We have lost the battle but not the war. We are carrying on with everything.”

Montero and Belarra have proved controversial ministers for many and colleagues have suggested this week they step aside from the election to ease a Podemos agreement with Sumar.

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