Podemos looks to general election alliance with IU

Podemos leader Pablo Iglesias (Left) and Izquierda Unida leader Alberto Garzón, Feb 2016. Photo: EFE via El Confidencial
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• Pablo Iglesias drops insistence that IU incorporate within Podemos
• Parties discussing joint election campaign with separate identities intact

Anti-austerity party Podemos has confirmed it is engaged in talks with the rival Izquierda Unida (IU, or “United Left”) party aimed at joining forces in an electoral coalition in the second round of general elections, expected to be called for June 26th if no government is formed by Congress before a May 2nd cutoff date.

Despite repeated refusals by Podemos leader Pablo Iglesias to consider a bi-party coalition with IU in the run-up to the December 2015 general election, the Podemos leadership has now reportedly dropped its insistence that IU incorporate itself under the Podemos banner and is willing to consider an election run highlighting their separate identities under a single campaign banner.

The move comes after multiple opinion polls in recent weeks have shown a sharp rise in voter favorability toward IU leader Alberto Garzón for his perceived willingness to negotiate and compromise and a steady decline in the popularity of Iglesias for his perceived obstinance during the failed negotiations to reach a progressive coalition government led by the Socialist party (PSOE).

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