Socialists set to kick party conference into June

PSOE caretaker commission president Javier Fernández (L) and spokesman Mario Jiménez. Photo: EFE via El Confidencial
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• PSOE Federal Committee meeting set to announce leadership election dates
• Caretaker commission leaks predetermined dates for elections, party conclave

The long-awaited meeting of the Socialist party (PSOE) Federal Committee on Saturday the 14th is expected to name the dates for the party’s leadership elections and upcoming national conference, but leaks from within the three-month-old caretaker commission that succeeded ousted general secretary Pedro Sánchez indicate predetermined dates for the leadership elections and the party conference already set for late-May and mid-June, respectively.

Despite demands by nearly 100,000 party militants grouped into 40 dissident platforms around the country that the elections and party congress be held in the Spring and no later than April, the caretaker commission has stuck to its guns that the congress will take place before summer vacations begin in July — but not before. Leaks from sources within the commission published in a variety of Spanish newspapers on Tuesday signaled either the second or fourth week of June as most likely timing for the party conclave.

Critics within the party have said the caretaker commission has purposely delayed the leadership election to stifle support for the re-election of Sánchez to the leadership position and enable a campaign to be organized by supporters of Susana Díaz, president of the region of Andalucia and leader of the PSOE’s powerful Andalucian affiliate party, who is said to have been behind the party coup that ousted Sánchez in October.

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

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