Podemos conflict boils over in Madrid, pointing to national dispute over leadership & decision making

Pablo Iglesias (left) and Íñigo Errejón. Photo: Europa Press
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• Pablo Iglesias ally targeted in abrupt resignation by Madrid party official •

Even as anti-austerity Podemos party attempts to force a return by the Socialist party (PSOE) to four-party progressive coalition talks aimed at forming Spain’s new government, an internal party conflict has erupted in Podemos’ regional Madrid section with Monday’s abrupt resignation of the Madrid party’s third-ranked official, who sharply criticized a close ally of Podemos’ national leader Pablo Iglesias in the process.

Emilio Delgado Orgaz, secretary for organization in the Madrid party and a close ally of Podemos’ national congressional spokesman Íñigo Errejón, resigned Monday and sharply criticized Luis Alegre, a local party leader and confidant of Podemos’ national figurehead, Pablo Iglesias. Despite an attempt at damage control by Errejon Tuesday, observers are pointing to more than just a local party dispute, saying the incident indicates a power struggle within Podemos between those who support the centralized control exerted by Iglesias and others aligned with Errejón who wish to see more input from the party bases in decision making.

The Madrid dispute marks the sixth conflict to have emerged in Podemos’ regional party sections in recent months, with the Iglesias-led national party leadership also having come into conflict with local party leaders and factions in Catalonia, Galicia, the Basque Country, Cantabria and La Rioja seeking to re-establish local control and decentralize Podemos decision-making to the regional party bases.

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