PSOE begins ‘purge’ of deputies for anti-Rajoy vote

PSOE-PSC deputy José Zaragoza seated in Congress. Photo: José Luis Roca / El Periódico
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• Socialists replace Pons, Zaragoza in EU congressional committee posts
• Aragon party removes Sumelza from leadership of parliamentary group

The interim leadership of Spain’s Socialist party (PSOE) has quietly begun to purge PSOE members of Congress from leadership positions, the first of what may include additional disciplinary measures after 15 Socialist deputies broke ranks and voted last month against the investiture of conservative Partido Popular (PP) leader Mariano Rajoy as Spanish prime minister.

The party announced this week that Pere Joan Pons of the Socialist Party of the Baleares and José Zaragoza of the Catalan Socialists Party are being replaced as spokesperson and president, respectively, of the Congressional inter-parliamentary group on the European Union by deputies who voted in line with the party’s decision to seat Rajoy as prime minister.

Earlier this month, the PSOE regional party in Aragon removed Susana Sumelzo from her position as coordinator of the Aragonese Socialists delegation in Congress as a result of her ‘No’ vote against Rajoy.

Of the 15 PSOE deputies who voted against the Rajoy investiture, two are independents who ran on the PSOE slate and cannot be disciplined by the party leadership. But, disciplinary files have been opened on the other 13 deputies, each of whom face minimum fines of 600 euros for having voted contrary to the party majority and possible additional disciplinary action.

► Read More in Spanish at El Periódico, El Mundo and 20minutos …

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