Socialist ‘Old Guard’ backs Susana Díaz candidacy

Andalucia president Susana Díaz formally launched bid to become PSOE general secretary Sunday. Photo: El País
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• Andalucia president finally throws hat into three-way PSOE leadership race
• Ousted leader Sánchez says party must move forward and not look to its past

Susana Díaz, leader of the Andalucian Socialist party and current president of Spain’s southernmost region, has finally thrown her hat into the Socialist party leadership race, announcing before a packed auditorium in Madrid on Sunday that she will take on ousted PSOE leader Pedro Sánchez and former Basque regional president (Lehendakari) Patxi López in the race to become the party’s next general secretary.

Backing Díaz with a show of support via their frontline presence at the rally on Sunday were the party’s “old guard” leadership, including former Spanish presidents Felipe González and José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero, as well as former party general secretaries Alfonso Guerra y Alfredo Pérez Rubalcaba.

An hour after Díaz’s rally kicked off in Madrid, rival Pedro Sánchez, who was ousted in an October internal party leadership coup widely believed to have been instigated by Díaz herself — told a packed auditorium of supporters in Burjassot, Valencia, that the upcoming Socialist leadership elections will give the party the chance to decide if it wants to have a throwback PSOE of the 20th century or move forward with new leadership as a modern 21st century party.

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

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