• Ousted PSOE leader Pedro Sánchez to headline social democracy roundtable
• Visits to Xirivella, Sueca and other towns to kick-off leadership comeback bid
Leaders of Spain’s Socialist party in Valencia (PSPV-PSOE) have invited ousted PSOE general secretary Pedro Sánchez to take part in a roundtable forum on the future of social democracy in Valencia’s suburb of Xirivella this coming Saturday, marking Sanchez’s first public appearance since resigning his seat in Congress last month and the beginning of what many see as the start of Sanchez’s long-shot campaign to reclaim the party leadership.
Sanchez’s appearance, which is expected to be followed with additional stops on Saturday and Sunday in other Valencian towns, occurs as the interim caretaker committee running the PSOE following the coup against him led by regional party “barons” and political rivals continues to waffle on setting a date for a PSOE general assembly, while broadening its purge of Sanchez loyalists from leadership positions in both the Congress and the Senate, Spain’s lower and upper houses of parliament.
Adding their voices to calls from activists for a general party meeting within 60 days are a growing number of regional and local sections of the PSOE across Spain — including a cascade of petitions in just the past week from party activists in various communities across Andalucia, Castilla-La Mancha, Asturias and Valencia. The chief order of the day at the anticipated party Congress will be election of new PSOE leadership to replace the caretaker administration, which mandated the vote in Congress that saw all but 15 of the party’s 85 Deputies abstain to help return conservative Partido Popular (PP) leader Mariano Rajoy to a second term as Prime Minister.
In Valencia, where Sanchez will be accompanied in Xirivella by Socialist mayor Michel Montaner and Valencian regional Socialist general secretary José Luis Ávalos, party unity has been cleft in two as a result of both the caretaker administration’s mandated abstention on the Rajoy vote and the participation in the coup that ousted Sanchez of Valencia’s Socialist regional president, Ximo Puig.