• Podem to join Barcelona en Comú, other parties in progressive formation
• Move will transform En Comú Podem electoral coalition into full-fledged party
The leadership of Podem, the Catalan affiliate of national anti-austerity party Podemos (We Can), announced Tuesday after lengthy negotiations that Podem has agreed to unite with the Barcelona en Comú (Barcelona In Common) movement led by Barcelona Mayor Ada Colau and other left-of-centre parties to transform their En Comú Podem (In Common We Can) electoral coalition into a permanent progressive Catalan political party.
The new party, which will be formally debuted on 8th April following a constituent assembly, will unite Podem, Barcelona en Comú, Iniciativa per Catalunya Verds (ICV, Initiative for Catalonia Greens), Esquerra Unida i Alternativa (EUiA, United and Alternative Left) and the Equo environmentalist party.
In a weekend consultative assembly, Podem activists clearly indicated that the Podemos-affiliated party in Catalonia should resist joining the new party unless it retained a degree of autonomy over its members’ participation. But in a final agreement between the leadership of Podem and Barcelona en Comú reached late Tuesday, Podem members were granted the right to retain their own party membership and vote in the new party’s elections via the Podem web page, while Podem has been given the right to retain and maintain its own list of active party members in parallel to that of the new party.