• Madrid mayor Carmena qualifies statement supporting Sánchez candidacy •
As the presidential candidacy of Socialist party leader Pedro Sánchez faces defeat in second-round Congressional balloting Friday evening, Sánchez’s PSOE party has applied indirect pressure to anti-austerity party Podemos with reminders that the goodwill and support of local Socialist party councilors is what keeps Podemos-backed mayors in office in several cities across Spain.
PSOE’s apparent behind-the-scenes maneuvering to demonstrate the Socialists’ role in propping up the so-called “mayors of change” in Madrid, Barcelona, Zaragoza, Pamplona, Cadiz and other cities, appeared to bear fruit Thursday with a statement by Madrid mayor Manuela Carmena urging support for Sanchez’ candidacy — followed later by a backtracking Carmena, telling reporters she “had meant to say” she supported a Sanchez candidacy backed by a progressive coalition including Podemos and United Left (Izquierda Unida).
Spain’s political parties are already geared up for the next phase of maneuvering and negotiating after the expected Sánchez defeat tonight, facing a May 2nd deadline for one of the parties’ candidates to garner enough votes to form a new government or else send Spanish voters back to the ballot box in another round of elections in late-June.
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