Patxi López throws hat into PSOE leadership contest

Socialist party politician Patxi López announced his entry into leadership contest Sunday. Photo: El Mundo
Share now:

• Former Basque ‘Lehendakari’ hopes to bind internal rifts, rebuild Socialist party
• Unclear whether ousted PSOE leader Pedro Sánchez will stand against López

The upcoming race to lead Spain’s Socialist party (PSOE) has formally kicked off with the announcement Sunday by former Basque Country regional president Patxi López, an erstwhile ally of ousted PSOE general secretary Pedro Sánchez, that he will seek to bind the party’s internal wounds and revive its flagging political fortunes if elected by the PSOE membership to the post of general secretary.

López, who served under Sánchez as President of the Congress of Deputies in the brief 11th Legislature from January to July of last year, parted ways with his former general secretary over the decision by the interim caretaker administration that succeeded Sánchez to mandate that all PSOE Deputies abstain to enable the election of Mariano Rajoy of the conservative Partido Popular (PP) to a second term as prime minister.

In announcing his bid for the party’s general secretary slot, López criticized that decision by the PSOE leadership as a mistake, though at the time he neither followed the lead of other PSOE deputies to vote against Rajoy nor did he follow Sánchez’s lead in resigning his seat in Congress rather than abstain.

López will most certainly face off against Andalucian Socialist leader Susana Díaz in the election fight, though it is not clear whether or not he will likewise face ousted general secretary Sánchez as an opponent. Sources close to both López and Sánchez told the Spanish press that the two spoke at length by telephone on Saturday and while it’s said that both agreed that having three candidates standing in the party leadership election made little sense, there is no indication yet as to whether that means Sánchez will now bow out of the contest.

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

Share now: