• Catalan party stalwart won’t lead June slate, leaves Congress after 16 years
• Chacón not leaving politics completely, stays in PSOE’s Internat’l Affairs post
Carme Chacón, the Catalan Socialist Party (PSC) leader who headlined the PSC-PSOE party slate in December general elections, has announced she will not run in the PSC’s primary to lead the ticket in upcoming second-round general elections set for June and will stand down from her position as PSC-PSOE Deputy after 16 years in Congress.
In October, in the midst of PSC-PSOE divisions over the party’s response to growing pro-independence sentiment in Catalonia, Chacón survived an internal power struggle between party members supporting her leadership of the general election slate and those loyal to former PSC leader Pere Navarro and his successor, current PSC general secretary Miguel Iceta. Those divisions surfaced again with Monday’s announced challenge to Chacón by ex-Senator Carles Martí in the anticipated regional primary for June elections.
The decision to stand down by Chacón, a former cabinet minister during the 2008-2011 administration of Prime Minister José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero and currently Secretary for International Relations of the national PSOE party, paves the way for a renovation of the general election slate of the PSC in June. The PSC’s loss of 335,000 votes and 11 seats in Congress from Catalonia has been blamed in part for the PSOE’s overall disappointing results nationwide in the December general election.