Sánchez outreach to Ciudadanos, Podemos spurned

Pedro Sanchez during weekend regional campaign stop in Coruña, Galicia. Photo: Cabalar/EFE via La Vanguardia
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• Socialist leader continues to urge Ciudadanos, Podemos to find consensus
• Majority PSOE voters favor leader’s refusal to enable new Rajoy government

The continuous urging by Spanish Socialist party (PSOE) leader Pedro Sánchez of left-wing Unidos Podemos (United We Can) coalition leader Pablo Iglesias and centre-right Ciudadanos party leader Albert Rivera to drop their parties’ respective vetoes against joining together with PSOE to block the prospect of a return to power by conservative Partido Popular (PP) leader Mariano Rajoy appear to be falling on deaf ears.

Over the weekend, Iglesias appeared to scuttle any prospect of joining a coalition with Ciudadanos based on the centre-right party’s support for Rajoy’s failed investiture bid earlier this month, while Rivera continued to rap Unidos Podemos stance in favor of nationalist referendums, even criticizing Sánchez for agreeing to meet last week with Catalan nationalist leader Francesc Homs of the Partit Demòcrata Català (PDC, formerly Convergència Democràtica de Catalunya).

On Friday, Sánchez got a boost of support from the UGT (General Workers’ Union of Spain), which backs his continued resistance to calls from both Rivera and Rajoy for the PSOE to abstain in Congressional voting and allow Rajoy to form a minority government,  And, results of a Metroscopia poll of PSOE voters released Monday morning show increased support for Sánchez, with a majority of Socialists now favoring their leader’s refusal to enable a Rajoy government, even if it means going to a third general election.

The support from organized labour and within the PSOE rank-and-file is critical to the continued leadership of the party by Sánchez, who himself failed in a bid to form a new government in March and has recently come under increasing criticism from former party leader and ex-Spanish prime minister Felipe Gonzalez, who favors a PSOE abstention and has called on all four of the major party leaders to step down if a third election becomes necessary.

► Read More in Spanish at El Periódico, El País and La Vanguardia …

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