The general secretary of the PSOE of Andalusia, Juan Espadas, is already beginning to outline the hard core of his regional executive and has elected Noel López, also a mayor like him, secretary of the regional organization, a position over which control and management falls. game day. Espadas has cleared up this question three weeks before the 14th Regional Congress, to be held in Torremolinos (Malaga) on November 6 and 7. It is the first time in 27 years that this position has been held by a leader from Eastern Andalusia.
The strong division in most of the provincial groups, which hold their congresses in December, worries many leaders because it may cloud an Andalusian conclave that is intended to promote the Swords project. But he does not participate in that concern: “This is no longer about pointing fingers. There is a legitimate drive for change and there may be different alternatives. This is about primaries ”, he told EL PAÍS.
The future number two of the Andalusian PSOE he has been mayor of Maracena (Granada, 22,000 inhabitants) since 2007, he is 43 years old and is a career civil servant with studies in Social Education. His organic career began in the Socialist Youth, where he was Secretary of the Organization of Granada. According to various socialist sources, he will leave the Granada mayor’s office in about two months to dedicate himself fully to work in the party.
López, like many others who make up the new majority of Andalusian socialism led by Espadas, took sides in the past with the former president of the Board, Susana Díaz, against the President of the Government, Pedro Sánchez, in the socialist primaries of 2017 of which the second was elected secretary general of the party. A division that the 40th Federal Congress held last week has permanently buried with a bid for reunification.
Espadas is now trying a similar operation: to close the wounds opened by the Andalusian socialist primaries, which won with 55% of the support for Susana Díaz in June. And launch a “solvent and social democratic” political project, said the candidate for the Board on Tuesday, which manages to remove from abstention the 400,000 voters who in December 2018 did not vote for the Andalusian PSOE in the regional elections, but in April of 2019 they did it for Pedro Sánchez in the generals. Surveys, such as the recent one from the Andalusian Studies Center, point to an even more downward PSOE.
Espadas has taken advantage of a conference organized by Europa Press in Granada, presented by the poet Luis García Montero, to announce the election of his new Secretary of Organization. And he has recognized that before the regional congress is held, “if there are winners or losers”, the PSOE of Granada, led by José Entrena, is “one of the winners”. The election of Noel López, mayor of Marecena, from another political and biological generation to that of Espadas (55 years old), is a clear nod to eastern Andalusia, where Espadas, still mayor of Seville, is a great unknown.
This group, along with that of Jaén, clearly supported Espadas in his career for the Andalusian leadership and was not happy with the recent distribution of positions in the Federal Congress, where the Sevillians have four of the nine seats of the Andalusian PSOE in the address. The Organization Secretariat of the PSOE of Andalusia, the party’s command bridge, has been in the hands of Cadiz and Sevillian leaders in the last 27 years, coinciding with the long stage in the Junta de Andalucía, and that fact conditioned not a few political decisions and, above all, budgetary for the autonomous government of the last three socialist presidents and also general secretaries. This commitment to visualize another less centralist PSOE is similar to that deployed by the Andalusian PP, where its main references are from Malaga.
Espadas wants a successful Regional Congress like that of the federal one and is carrying the weight of the negotiation with the provinces to form a new executive. “Fitting the pieces is complex,” he admitted on Tuesday. Before the congress is held, it will reveal other names of the regional executive, which it has already decided, and will bet that leaders of Eastern Andalusia have “a special role”. Other names will be specified in the congress, but the hard core will be known. “It will not be a congress of the last night,” he added.
The fear of many leaders is that the Torremolinos conclave will turn into a gibberish of provincial struggles. Except in the provinces of Granada and to a lesser extent, Almería, in the other six there is a battle to take over the provincial secretariat and where those who supported Espadas in the primaries are divided into different tribes, each one with its particularities; and in which those who supported Susana Díaz do not have a majority, but they can determine the provincial directions.
Several candidates are running to lead the PSOE of Cádiz, Seville, Huelva, Córdoba, Jaén and Málaga. Espadas sees it naturally. “What we knew would come to the fore now comes to light. There has been a regional renewal that has its replicas in the provinces ”, he told this newspaper. “This is no longer about pointing fingers,” says Espadas, who stresses that he will not intervene, although he advises against “personal adventures to make noise.”
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