20 days after the start of the electoral campaign of 28-M, Podemos is broken in Asturias. The organization is going through a deep crisis and was already divided since the election of the current regional executive —affiliated with the national one— in December 2021, but the internal situation has deteriorated in recent months, with crossed accusations, opening of files and expulsion of members of the critical current led by deputy Sofía Castañón. The last episode of this escalation of tension came this Thursday, when the head of the list for the regional elections, Covadonga Tomé, and a dozen militants locked themselves in the party headquarters in Gijón to demand that he remain in the candidacy for number four. , Jorge Fernández, despite the fact that he is temporarily suspended from affiliation. The open battle in the party weighs down the electoral options of Podemos in Asturias, the only community, along with Aragon, in which the autonomous communities are presented alone, without the United Left. And it can also complicate things for the PSOE, which seeks to keep one of the ten governments that is at stake on May 28 there.
The dispute between the management and critics of Podemos-Asturias became more acute last November, after the non-official candidate, Covadonga Tomé, won the primaries against the then secretary of the regional organization and former adviser to the Ministry of Equality, Alba González, and thus became a candidate for the presidency of the Principality of Asturias. Since then, Tomé has denounced that the party does not respect these primaries and that it tries to prevent her and other members of the list from attending the next 28-M. Now, the latest offensive by Tomé’s team occurs a few days after the deadline for submitting lists, which ends late on Monday. This Friday, from his confinement, he demanded the mediation of the party leader, Ione Belarra, and she responded from Toledo: “What I want to ask of our candidate is that she present herself, that she campaign, that she has our full support, that of the organization in Asturias and at the state level, and that we all go out together to obtain the best possible results”.
“I will leave here with democracy and the values of Podemos intact, until then I will stay at the headquarters of Podemos,” Tomé had challenged Thursday night in a statement issued after a meeting in which the party leadership in Asturias reiterated his intention to remove number four, Jorge Fernández, from the list and put the councilor in the Oviedo City Council Ana Taboada in his place. The candidate also affirms that she and five people from her team were filed for facts that she considers prescribed, and that, in the case of Fernández, she was sanctioned for “opinions” expressed within the highest management body. The Podemos leadership replies that Fernández is suspended for “serious and continuous verbal attacks for months on multiple party colleagues”, for which reason he is “automatically” disqualified from being part of the electoral list in accordance with Podemos regulations. The same sources describe the behavior of Tomé’s team as “worrying”.
Since Tomé’s candidacy, backed by the former coordinator and regional deputy Daniel Ripa —who was expelled by the leadership two months ago—, they insist that, beyond formal issues, by winning the primaries the executive began to build files against his team and that since then a strategy in this regard has been followed. That, they maintain, also includes the annulment of votes when the leadership loses the process, something that according to them has happened in the municipality of Langreo.
More than a year on the warpath
The internal battle in Podemos-Asturias dates back to December 2021. After almost seven years at the head of the organization, Daniel Ripa left the regional leadership after a dog-faced primaries, embroiled in controversy, which he narrowly lost and for which you requested an audit. However, his team obtained a majority (11-9) in the Autonomous Citizen Council, which predicted a difficult mandate for the winner, Sofía Castañón. Four Ripa-affiliated members have since been expelled by an opinion from the Podemos State Democratic Guarantees Commission, and he himself was expelled last February.
What affects the most is what happens closer. To not miss anything, subscribe.
The crisis in the party goes further. At the beginning of the year, the Secretary of Organization, Alba González (defeated in the November primaries), resigned from the position with a very harsh letter against the critical sector for “dehumanizing” Castañón and in which she motivated the decision due to her state of health, physical and mental. The regional coordinator has also been on medical leave for months, so she is replaced on an interim basis by deputy Rafael Palacios. In the middle of Holy Week, Covadonga Tomé denounced that the national leadership of Podemos had opened a disciplinary file that sought to end his candidacy. The National Executive denied the facts. Seven days ago, Tomé attended the party’s Spring Festival in Zaragoza after requesting a meeting with Ione Belarra. At the gates of the venue, he summoned the media among bagpipers and denounced “the difficulties” in campaigning and “making visible” his candidacy, in addition to asking to maintain the electoral list in Asturias “without modifications.”
The internal fight threatens the options of Podemos —which this year competes with Convocatoria por Asturias, a platform that includes Izquierda Unida and Más País— and with it the possibilities of government for the socialist Adrián Barbón. “The wear and tear can be irreversible and give IU the first victory over Podemos in Spain since 2015″, warns Tomé’s team in a document addressed to internal charges to which EL PAÍS has had access.
Asked about the effect of the battle broadcast almost live in the media, the candidate acknowledged this Friday that the discussions could increase the “ennui” of the electorate and be detrimental in the face of 28-M, although she has advocated closing the wound. “I think that with political will this can be fixed,” she told reporters, still entrenched in the headquarters.
Subscribe to continue reading
Read without limits
#Podemos #collapses #Asturias #communities #autonomous #communities #face #alliances