‘Adelante’ leaders seek more inclusive Podemos

Adelante Podemos leaders Tania Svnchez (L) and Rita Maestre. Photos: Uly Martín/El País and EFE
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• ‘Adelante’ platform wants broader ideological, gender diversity in Podemos
• See move further left, abandoning social-democratic centre as mistake for party

Leaders of the Adelante Podemos platform that is contesting the leadership of Podemos (We Can) in the populist, anti-austerity party’s stronghold of Madrid have called for an end to top-down decision-making dominated by the party’s predominantly male leadership, emphasizing the need for greater ideological inclusiveness and more representation of women at the leadership level as Podemos moves forward.

In separate interviews this week, Adelante co-spokesperson Rita Maestre, who also serves as the communications laison in the office of Madrid Mayor Manuela Carmena, and former Izquierda Unida (IU, United Left) deputy in the Madrid regional assembly Tania Sánchez, said that for Podemos to broaden its appeal to activists and voters believed to be defecting from the centre-left Socialist party (PSOE) it needs to tamper down the male dominance of its leadership style and decision-making and avoid entrenching itself in positions on the far-left of the political spectrum.

While crediting Podemos with being less “macho” than Spanish society as a whole and less so than other political parties, Maestre told the Spanish news agency EFE that the party still has a long way to go and should be looking to the inclusive leadership styles of mayors Ada Colau of Barcelona and Manuela Carmena of Madrid as models for the party’s future.

Sanchez, who joined Podemos last year after more than a dozen years as an activist in the leftwing Izquierda Unida coalition, said the biggest gift that Podemos could give to the PSOE would be to move further to the left and abandon the quest to win over centre-left, social democrat voters currently disaffected with the Socialist party leadership.

► Read More in Spanish at El Mundo and El País …

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