PSOE and Podemos leaders to meet on Wednesday, as each strives to contain internal party challenges

PSOE's Pedro Sánchez (left) and Podemos' Pablo Iglesias meeting in Congress on Feb. 5th. Photo: El Diario
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• Key PSOE, Podemos party councils Saturday overshadow leaders’ meeting •

Socialist party leader Pedro Sánchez and Podemos leader Pablo Iglesias are scheduled to talk face-to-face on Wednesday for the first time since Feb 5th, but little headway toward formation of a left-wing, progressive government is expected until after the two leaders resolve conflicts within their respective camps at meetings of each of the parties’ governing councils slated for Saturday.

Sánchez, in a move to quell an expected leadership challenge from the powerful regional head of Socialist party (PSOE) in Andalucia, Susana Díaz, has convened the party’s Federal Commission to meet Saturday to indefinitely postpone PSOE’s late-May party Congress and leadership vote until after the formation of a new government, whether through successful coalition talks or after a second round of parliamentary elections in late June.

Reportedly hoping to leverage Sánchez’s uncertain position vis a vis a PSOE leadership struggle, Iglesias nevertheless faces the challenge himself of resolving strife within Podemos on Saturday, when the party’s Citizens Council debates Podemos’ future structure and holds a vote of confidence on newly appointed regional organization coordinator Pablo Echenique, hand-picked by Iglesias to replace Sergio Pascual, who was unceremoniously sacked following the mass resignation last month of 10 party leaders in Podemos’ Madrid regional party.

► Read More in Spanish at El Diario and El Periódico …

► Read Backgrounders in English at El País and the Financial Times

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