Pedro Sánchez officially joins race to lead Socialists

Pedro Sánchez announces candiacy for top PSOE leadership post in Sevilla's Dos Hermanas neighborhood. Photo: El Diario

• Ex-PSOE leader sees candidacy ‘plebiscite’ over who should control of party
• Sánchez joins Patxi López in race, Andalucia’s Susana Díaz still undeclared

Spain’s Socialist party (PSOE) has another official candidate in the campaign for the party’s top leadership post, with former general secretary Pedro Sánchez announcing in Sevilla on Saturday that he launch a campaign that seeks to return control of the party to its activist base after he was ousted last year in an interim caretaker administration.

Sánchez told an estimated 1,500 supporters assembled in the Sevilla PSOE bastion of Dos Hermanas that his candidacy will serve as a plebiscite over whether the control of the Socialist party should be in the hands of its activist bases, with leaders elected through direct primary votes, or whether powerful regional leaders and the old-guard PSOE establishment should have control of the party’s future.

He joins former Basque regional president Patxi López, an erstwhile ally of Sánchez who announced earlier this month thre his hat into the leadership contest and who some say may now be marginalized in a virtual-two way race between Sánchez and Andalucian party leader Susana Díaz, president of the regional government of Andalucia.

Díaz, who is seen as the de facto leader of the internal coup that ousted Sánchez in October has not officially announced her candidacy. Responding to Sánchez’s announcement, in statements to the press over the weeknd the Andalucian Socialist leader implied that as PSOE general secretary Sánchez had been responsible for losses at the ballot box in last year’s general election and therefore should not be the one to lead the party forward.


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