• Podemos breaks with Socialists in Castilla-La Mancha and Extremadura
• Back-to-back moves undercut PSOE regional ‘Barons’ critical of Pedro Sánchez
The leadership of left-wing anti-austerity party Podemos (We Can) in two Spanish regions have withdrawn the party’s support from the Socialist party (PSOE), effectively breaking governing pacts that sustain regional PSOE presidents in power on the claim that the Socialists had failed to live up to their part of the governing bargain and had been promoting economic and social agendas more in line with the policies of the conservative Partido Popular (PP) than those of Podemos.
The back-to-back moves announced Monday by Podemos in the regions of Castilla-La Mancha and Extremadura, which national party leader Pablo Iglesias claimed were local decisions and independent of any directive from the national party leadership, appear to have been planned in advance and delayed until after the results of Sunday’s regional elections in Galicia and the Basque Country.
PSOE leaders Emiliano García-Page in Castilla-La Mancha and Guillermo Fernández Vara in Extremadura, both of whom are among the so-called regional ‘Barons’ of the Socialist party critical of PSOE national leader Pedro Sánchez’s opposition to the return to power of PP leader and acting-Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy, will now have to look for support to other parties in order to remain in power.
In Castilla-La Mancha, the previous regional president and current general secretary of the PP nationally, María Dolores de Cospedal, who was ousted from power after regional elections in 2015 that led to the formation of the PSOE-Podemos pact, has offered PP votes to prop up García-Page and his regional PSOE administration and avert regional elections for the formation of a new government.