Podemos leadership votes set for 3 regions, 12 cities

Teresa Rodríguez (R) with Íñigo Errejón (L) and Sergio Pascual in general election campaign rally in Sevilla. Photo: Carlos Márquez / El Mundo
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• Slates favoring Iglesias, Errejón and ‘Anti-Capitalistas’ vying for control
• Madrid, Andalucia, Extremadura and 12 cities to renew local party leadership

In what is being seen as a warm-up for battle over control of the direction and leadership of anti-austerity party Podemos that is expected to play out in full at the party’s national Congress next year, candidates supporting party leader Pablo Iglesias, chief electoral strategist Íñigo Errejón and the hard-left ‘Anti-Capitalistas’ wing of the party are throwing their hats into the ring in regional and local Podemos leadership contests in Madrid, Extramadura, Andalucia and 12 cities nationwide.

Following the announcement from the party’s key regional affiliate in Madrid that it would launch a leadership contest beginning late-October, a call from national Organisational Secretary Pablo Echenique for other regions and cities to hold simultaneous leadership contests has spawned internal election fever so far in the regions of Andalucia and Extramadura, as well as a dozen cities, including Málaga, Palma, Santander, León, Burgos, Salamanca, Alicante, Pamplona, Tarragona, Sabadell, Hospitalet de Llobregat and Lleida.

The launch earlier this month of the pro-Errejón Proceso Adelante slate in Madrid was quickly met with additional candidacies supporting both Iglesias and the party’s ‘Anti-Capitalistas’ faction, associated in Madrid with Podemos European MP Miguel Urbán and in Andalucia with regional party leader Teresa Rodríguez. In Andalucia itself, where the regional party leadership is currently controlled by Errejónistas who include Sergio Pascual, the former national Organisational Secretary unceremoniously sacked by Iglesias last March, Rodríguez hopes to win control of the party for the ‘Anti-Capitalistas’, shifting the party’s focus from electoral politics back onto direct action and street protest, where Podemos has its origins and where she says the party rightly belongs.

► Read More in Spanish at 20Minutos, El Mundo and El País …

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