Iglesias launches Podemos leadership candidacy

Podemos' Pablo Iglesias launches leadership candidacy surrounded by supporters. Photo: Carlos Rosillo / El País
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• Uneasy truce between ‘Errejónistas’ & ‘Pablistas’ over Vistalegre II conference
• Iglesias calls Errejón’s number-two post into question over strategy differences

Following an uneasy truce between supporters of Podemos (We Can) number-two leader Íñigo Errejón and party chief Pablo Iglesias over the organization of Podemos upcoming ‘Vistalegre II‘ party conference, on Sunday Iglesias announced his as-yet-unopposed candidacy to again lead the anti-austerity party as it attempts to regain ground lost int the 26th June general election, when 1.2 million voters failed to turn up at the polls as anticipated to support its Unidos Podemos (United We Can) electoral coalition.

Resolving a dispute over how voting is to be conducted at the upcoming party conference in early February, the Podemos factions have agreed on the composition of an organizing committee with three members of the so-called Errejonista faction, three who support Iglesias’ position on the party’s future and one from the farther-left Anticapitalistas faction that has thrown tactical support to Iglesias in the ongoing struggle over the party’s direction.

In the negotiations, the Errejonistas managed to secure a seat on the organization committee for former party organization secretary Sergio Pascual, who was summarily sacked by Iglesias last Spring in a party shake-up that displeased many in the Errejon camp, who are pushing for more ideological diversity within the party and oppose the move further left towards greater militancy and direct-action politics being championed by Iglesias.

As Errejón continues to maintain he will not directly challenge Iglesias in the upcoming leadership election, the pressure on the party’s number-two strategist continues to mount, with Iglesias himself now saying that if Errejon does not get in line and unite behind Iglesias’ vision for the party his continuance as second-in-command of the anti-austerity party may be called into question.

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

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