• Izquierda Unida ~ United Left (IU)
Izquierda Unida is a left-wing political coalition that was formed in 1986 to unite several left-wing political parties and movements, principally the Partido Comunista Español (PCE, “Spanish Communist Party”) and the smaller legacy Spanish Republican party, Izquierda Republicana (IR, “Republican Left”). Internationally, it is affiliated with The Party of the European Left (EL), a pan-European federation of communist and democratic socialist parties within EU and non-EU countries across Europe.
In the three decades of its existence, IU has suffered myriad divisions, breakups, re-unifications, accretion and coalitions with smaller left-wing movements at the regional level throughout Spain, throughout all of which the PCE has remained IU’s core constituent party. IU’s political platform distinguishes it from other left-wing parties in Spain and includes:
• insistence on replacing the current Constitution of 1978 with a new Spanish Constitution;
• creation of a Republican government and elimination of the Spanish monarchy;
• withdrawal of Spain from the NATO military alliance (a platform position put forward by the PCE that Spain withdraw from the EU and the Euro monetary union is currently under consideration);
• nationalization of strategic industries and infrastructure, including banks, transportation and energy; and,
• an end to Spain’s treaty with the Vatican that provides special status for Catholicism and allows religious education in Spanish schools.
After suffering losses in municipal and European elections in 1999, IU signed an electoral pact with the Socialist party (PSOE) for the 2000 general election and came in third in the vote tally, winning 9.4 percent of the national vote and 19 seats in the Congress of Deputies. In each of the next three general elections, IU saw a continuous downward slide in its share of the national vote, winning 6 percent of the vote and nine seats in Congress in 2004, then 5 percent for just five seats in Congress in 2008 and just 3.8 percent for just two seats in Congress in 2011.
In Spain’s general election of Dec. 2015, with PCE party member and IU parliamentary spokesperson Alberto Garzón at the top of the ticket, Izquierda Unida won 923,133 votes for 3.67 percent of total votes cast, giving it 2 seats in the Congress of Deputies, Spain’s lower house of parliament.
In May 2016, Izquierda Unida reached an agreement with Podemos (We Can) to form an electoral coalition for the second-round 26th June 2016 general elections that will include additional parties and field candidates under the name of Unidos Podemos (United We Can).
More about Izquierda Unida can be found online at the following links:
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Updated as of 06/2016