Iglesias looks to Podemos unity in run-up to conclave

Podemos leaders Íñigo Errejón and Pablo Iglesias seated in Congress. Photo: Uly Martin / El País
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• Podemos chief’s ‘Plan 2020’ will incorporate ideas of Errejón, Anticapitalistas
• Confrontation is out and party unity is in as ‘Vistalegre 2’ conference approaches

In an apparent effort to reduce factional tensions within Podemos (We Can), party leader Pablo Iglesias has let slip to Spanish news media outlets that the position paper he is preparing to present to the upcoming ‘Vistalegre 2′ party conference in February will seek to avoid confrontation and promote party unity, even including some of the ideas of Podemos’ second-ranking official, Íñigo Errejón.

Iglesias lieutenants within Podemos have revealed that the optimistically titled draft position paper the Podemos chief is currently elaborating, “Plan 2020: Beating the PP and Governing Spain,” will focus on providing a political, organizational and ethical direction for the three-year-old anti-austerity party and will be presented for consideration to the party membership over a ten-day period in advance of the party congress for comments, debate and suggested amendments.

Following the loss of more than 1 million votes in the June 2016 general election, Podemos entered upon a period of internal debate and friction over the party’s direction, with Iglesias and supporters promoting a more militant, direct-action approach to politics as opposed to the less-ideological and “transversal” approach favoured by Errejón supporters and designed to appeal to a broader base of the Spanish electorate.

After frictions reached an climax at the end of 2016, both Errejón and Iglesias have called for calm in recent weeks in the run-up to the party’s leadership elections and ‘Vistalegre 2’ party conference, at which the future party platform and approach to parliamentary and electoral politics will be decided.

► Read More in Spanish at La Vanguardia and El País …

► Read More in English at The Irish Times …

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