Podemos accelerates its municipal and autonomous candidacies with the left-wing unit in the air

The electoral cycle that will start in May 2023 with the regional and municipal elections is going to catch the left in its umpteenth refounding exercise. Immersed in the so-called "listening process" of the Sumar platform with the horizon of the general elections, Yolanda Díaz herself has already publicly confirmed that her project “does not arrive” at the May elections. And the main political actors of the United We Can space accuse the wear and tear of a particularly tense coexistence since the call in Andalusia last June.

In this context, the one who has moved the first chip is Podemos. The formation already announced a few weeks ago that it was putting its electoral committee to work to outline regional and municipal candidacies and has rushed to specify them this Monday in the case of Madrid. The party led by Ione Belarra has made official that the bet for the city council of the capital of Spain is the former athlete Roberto Sotomayor and for the Community, the lawyer, activist for the right to housing and current deputy, Alejandra Jacinto.

From the leadership of the party they deny that this step means rejecting the possibility of an agreement with other formations and even define Sotomayor and Jacinto as two "very confluent" profiles. The public and official message that is conveyed is that the ambition would even be to be able to reach an agreement with Más Madrid, an option that nobody considers realistic from the inside out, mainly due to the explicit refusal of those of Mónica García.

In reality, there are not even guarantees at this point that the United We Can formula can be reissued to converge with Izquierda Unida, which will also organize its own internal candidate election process in the coming months. A scenario that is reminiscent of the road map followed by the left in Andalusia and that was about to derail at the last minute (Podemos, in fact, did not arrive in time to register to converge with the Por Andalucía brand together with the United Left itself, Más País and other Andalusian formations). The latest episode of disagreements has taken place in the Andalusian parliament in the last few hours, where Más País and Iu added their votes to expel Podemos from the Chamber Table.

Those of Belarra explain that they are stepping on the accelerator of their lists and their candidacies "by responsibility" after Yolanda Díaz's announcement that she does not arrive with Sumar to the regional and municipal ones. “It is a very important political course and the space needs to show that it is active for May. We can not not stand for those elections, ”say sources from the party leadership. Questioned by the possibility of appearing alone in places where an alliance with the United Left is not even possible, these same sources maintain that the intention is to reissue the coalition formula of United We Can "in all places where it is possible", to what leaders of both formations maintain contacts, although nobody dares to rule out any scenario.

"It would be a tremendous failure if we went separately," defend sources from Izquierda Unida Madrid when asked about it. From the formation led by Alberto Garzón, he shows his “maximum respect” for the internal processes of preparing Podemos lists, although they do not hide that the most convenient thing, in his opinion, is that announcements like those of this Monday would have been produced after “a previous dialogue and a greater synchronization of the times between both formations”. In IU they trust that there is still enough time until the elections to "do things right and for us all to be generous", avoiding "shows" that the citizens "would no longer forgive us".

Even so, sources from the left-wing coalition acknowledge their concern that even the United We Can formula runs the risk in places such as the Community of Madrid of being left out of the Assembly by not reaching 5%, a threat that would gain more strength in the in the event that Izquierda Unida and Podemos presented themselves separately and raised the number of candidates to the left of the PSOE to three. In this context, there are those in the United Left who have been discreetly considering for some time the possibility of converging with Más Madrid and not with Podemos, a formula that has already been produced in some Madrid municipalities. However, informal contacts in this regard have not borne fruit and all parties agree that it is a "remote" possibility with very little sign of prospering.

From Más Madrid, where they work with a tandem formed by Mónica García as a candidate for the Community and Rita Maestre for the City Council, they are explicit in slamming the door to any possibility of unifying lists with Podemos. Asked about it, Mónica García herself made her position clear this Monday after the debate on the state of the region. "In the Madrid City Council it is clear who has been working for years making an opposition and a realistic alternative to Almeida and that is Rita Maestre, it is More Madrid", she assured.

The leader of Más Madrid stressed that they are the ones who have spent years “going through the neighborhoods and proposing solutions. We, instead of putting stickers on the ground, propose solutions in schools, to traffic jams, to the lack of affordable housing… We are going to continue working regardless of what the rest of the political parties do”, she concluded. At the moment, the forecast is that there may be three lists to the left of the PSOE: Podemos, Más Madrid and Recupera Madrid (formed by two mayors split from Más Madrid who have announced a plan to present themselves as a group of voters).

Despite this, in Más Madrid they are optimistic and believe that their upward trend in recent years, which has led them to be the second force in the Community of Madrid and to lead the opposition to Isabel Díaz Ayuso, even overtaking the PSOE, makes experiments inconvenient in the form of coalitions or "sums of acronyms" that dilute an already consolidated project and "with unfurled sails".

Over the next few weeks, Podemos will continue announcing candidacies in the different territories, a process that in Izquierda Unida will still be delayed for some time. The casuistry of each autonomy and each municipality is so varied that it makes it unfeasible to predict even the leaders of both formations if the norm will be confluence or, on the contrary, divorce.

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