José Luis Ábalos resigns as Secretary of Organization of the PSOE. He has done so in a letter sent to Pedro Sánchez, in his capacity as secretary general, and to the rest of the party’s Executive two days after the president inform him that he would not continue as head of the Ministry of Transport, Mobility and Urban Agenda and that it would not continue to be the organic mainstay of the party as of October, which is when the 40th Congress of the PSOE – from which the new leadership will emerge – is held precisely in Valencia, his homeland. He will be succeeded by Santos Cerdán, who until now has been Ábalos’ right hand as head of Territorial Coordination.
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As reported by Ferraz in a statement, “in the letter, Ábalos has highlighted the loyalty and sense of duty that he has been carrying out within the party for four intense years, and has defined his departure as a mature and necessary decision from the point of view of personal and family view “. In the federal leadership they expected his resignation imminently after Sánchez dispensed with him with the aim of starting a new one in the Government and in the party, which will undergo an important renewal in the next congress.
“Ábalos has also recognized that these years at the head of the secretary have been the greatest political honor of his life, being aware that he is leaving the leadership of a cohesive party around the leadership of the Secretary General and President of the Government, Pedro Sánchez. He also wanted to make it clear that the PSOE is today a stronger party and more aware of its hegemonic role on the left and much more capable of mobilizing society to continue transforming our country, “the statement concludes.
The departure of Ábalos from both the government and the party leadership has impacted the socialist ranks, which are looking for explanations for the fall of one of the men from the hard core that Sánchez had until now. The accumulated wear is what they express in the management and in Moncloa. His dismissal from the ministry by passing the portfolio to his successor, Raquel Sánchez, has been cold and has not attended any leader or minister of weight. Most were at the inaugurations of Félix Bolaños, the new strong man of the Government, -to which, among others, Cerdán and the Deputy Secretary General, Adriana Lastra- or the new Foreign Minister, José Manuel Albares, who He is also linked to the party.
Ábalos, who in principle will keep his act as a deputy in Congress, was one of the leaders who supported Sánchez in the primaries against Susana Díaz in 2017 from the beginning, although they had not had much relationship before, but he quickly entered to be part of his closest team until he named him Secretary of Organization at that congress. As one of the few veterans that Sánchez had in his narrowest circle then, he was the defender of the PSOE’s position in the motion of censure against Mariano Rajoy presented by Pablo Iglesias and, later, the one that Sánchez successfully promoted in 2018 to throw him out. from Moncloa.
The Organization secretariat will not be an unknown position for Cerdán, who assumed a good part of those responsibilities, such as contact with the federations, once Ábalos went to the Ministry of Transport, Urban Agenda and Mobility. Cerdán will now be responsible for piloting the congressional process that was launched in the Federal Committee last weekend. It will therefore be the Number Three of the party in which sources of the direction emphasize that Adriana Lastra, deputy secretary general, will continue having “the command in square”.
Cerdán, who was secretary of Organization of the PSN, is one of Sánchez’s most trusted people since the 2017 primaries in which he beat Susana Díaz and was one of those responsible for coordinating the collection of guarantees in which the then ex-secretary general obtained more than 50,000 signatures surprising his rivals.