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PSOE crisis: Pedro Sánchez refuses to resign and calls primaries for October 23
30 September 2016 @ 13:46

PEDRO Sánchez has refused to stand down despite over half his executive committee resigning en masse to force his hand, saying he will continue with his plans to put the leadership out to vote among the PSOE's militants.

The primaries, or internal vote for party leader among paid-up members, will be on October 23, which would give the PSOE just a week to avert a third general election – an impossible deadline.

Sánchez has also called and extraordinary federal meeting over November 12 and 13 to renew everyone's roles within the party.

He wants to try to get all members to agree as far as possible on the way forward for a party which has been harbouring turmoil for around six years – over a year before the general election which ended its reign in government.

The only one of Spain's PSOE regional presidents who supports Sánchez – Francina Armengol, of the Balearic Islands, says: “Now is the time to unite. When two trains collide, it's the militants [paid-up subscribers] who need to decide.”

It was the militants who elected Sánchez, and the primaries on October 23 will see them either reaffirm their decision or change their minds.

Sánchez's rival in the last primaries, Eduardo Madina, coincides with Albert Rivera – head of centre-right party Ciudadanos – that the PSOE 'cannot form a government with only 85 seats' out of the total of 350 and the required majority of 176.

But Sánchez is stuck in the middle of warring factions – those who support his refusal to vote for Rajoy in the in-house presidential elections or even abstain to allow him to govern in minority with 137 seats, and those who believe he should let Rajoy through; those who are willing for Sánchez to negotiate with Podemos to be able to form a government, and those who are dead against it.

The latter camp includes Andalucía's regional president, Susana Díaz, who is tipped to be Sánchez's main rival, and whose supporters are among those who have resigned, along with those who back regional presidents Fernando Vara (Extremadura) and Emiliano García-Page (Castilla-La Mancha).


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