• Ousted PSOE leader to headline rally Saturday in Susana Díaz stronghold
• Sánchez rally hopes to turn out 10,000 local PSOE militants in show of strength
The campaign to reclaim Spain’s Socialist party (PSOE) for the activist base of the party opposed to the PSOE’s de facto of s second term for Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy of the conservative Partido Popular (PP) will head to the heart of Susana Díaz country on Saturday, with a rally featuring former PSOE general Secretary Pedro Sánchez in Sevilla, capital of the southern region of Andalucia.
Sánchez, who refused to give in to pressure to enable Rajoy’s accession to a second term, was ousted in an internal PSOE leadership coup in October. The visible head of the movement that ousted Sánchez was Susana Díaz, who as the powerful regional leader of the PSOE in Andalucia and president of the Andalucian government gained the backing of several regional PSOE bosses and the party’s “Old Guard” leadership, including former Spanish prime ministers Felipe Gónzalez and José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero.
Díaz has yet to formally announce her candidacy to stand for party leader in upcoming elections slated for late Spring, though former Sánchez ally and ex-Basque regional president Patxi López has already thrown his hat into the ring. Sánchez has not said whether he will formally announce his own candidacy in Sevilla on Saturday to retake the reigns of the PSOE, but it is clear that he and his supporters in Andalucia intend to make a strong statement about his possible run at the party leadership during the rally in the Díaz stronghold.