June 19, 2021

Two lists will compete for the leadership of IU Madrid with the relationship with Podemos as the main front


The IU Madrid primaries to elect the future direction of the organization will be resolved between two candidates led by members of the PCE. That of the current headquarters, commanded by the also secretary general of the PCM, Álvaro Aguilera, and by Carolina Cordero. And the alternative, that elDiario.es already advanced, and that will have as headline the Councilor for Economy and Organization in the Rivas-Vaciamadrid City Council and a communist militant with accumulated three-year terms, Manu Castro. Two options that have been formalized this Friday and on which the affiliates and supporters with the right to vote will have to decide between June 30 and July 3.


The leadership of IU Madrid revolts against Alberto Garzón and Enrique Santiago on the eve of their regional assembly

The leadership of IU Madrid revolts against Alberto Garzón and Enrique Santiago on the eve of their regional assembly

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The internal situation at IU Madrid has reached a maximum friction point after the May 4 elections. As was the case in 2019, the differences over the composition of the United We Can candidacy were kept to the limit. They were only resolved with an intervention by the federal leadership led by Alberto Garzón. Then, as now, the leak of some private audios revealed the schism that exists in the Madrid federation about how IU should relate to Podemos, as well as with other progressive forces in the region, such as Más Madrid. The three parties share governments in some municipalities, while they are employed in fierce opposition to each other in others.

The latest example of this bad relationship between the outgoing regional leadership and Podemos was experienced this week during the constitution of the Madrid Assembly. The resignations of Iglesias, first, and Isa Serra, later, forced the parliamentary group to choose who would occupy the Spokesperson. The agreement between both parties indicates that this position is for Podemos. The pact of two years ago recognized IU an attached Spokesperson, but the sources consulted by elDiario.es point out that this point was not contemplated now. Podemos announced that Carolina Alonso and Alejandra Jacinto would occupy both positions. IU deputy Vanessa Llillo, very critical of the alliance with Podemos, publicly showed her disagreement.

Lillo is precisely number 3 on the list headed by Aguilera and Cordero under the title “The left for Madrid.” The outgoing coordinator explains to this medium that his political proposal has three main axes. The first, to advocate a “turn to materiality” with a “practice oriented to the concrete problems of the majority of the working class”, which would go through “abandoning the metapolitical and big ideas field to land on the daily problems of social majority “.

The second axis goes through a “valorization of the militancy”, with representation of 62 territorial and sectoral assemblies on the list. Finally, Aguilera proposes seeking a “unit as broad as possible” with other formations, “but with democratization and active participation in the development of the program and accountability” to avoid that “every time there is an electoral process it is hell of negotiations “.

Horizonte Madrid: another candidacy led by the PCE

After the last elections, those of May, the regional direction of IU Madrid approved a harsh political report that pointed to Alberto Garzón and the secretary general of the PCE, Enrique Santiago. Precisely people of the trust of both have launched the alternative candidacy to that of the outgoing leadership. Heads the list Manu Castro, current Councilor for Economy and Organization in the Rivas City Council, the jewel in the crown of IU municipalism. They are followed by Marga Ferré (leader of both IU and PCE), Carlos Sánchez Mato (former councilman of the Madrid City Council and economic head of IU), Sol Sánchez (regional deputy and ATACC activist), Pedro del Cura (mayor of Rivas), Sira Rego (MEP and federal spokesperson for IU) or Mauricio Valiente (former councilor of Madrid), among other prominent names. Two of the most prominent nominal supports are that of the historic PCE leader Willy Meyer, the director of Worker’s World, Julio Martín Medem, or the current Secretary of Organization, and Alberto Garzón’s right-hand man, Ismael González.

In his candidacy, Castro emphasizes that he is “a member of the IU and the PCE for more than 25 years.” The reference is not trivial. The strength of the party when it comes to defining the vote of its members is decisive in many internal IU elections, where the majority share affiliation between the party and the coalition. The PCM organs have overwhelmingly supported Aguilera and Cordero’s list, which points the way that, a priori, they should follow the basics.

But the presence of another option also led by someone from the party opens the range for the militancy to choose. Especially when it has the support of names as relevant within both formations as those described. Aguilera assures elDiario.es that “it is the regional body that marks” the line to follow, unless its decision is revoked by a state body, and that although the presence of two PCE lists “is not ideal, it does not happen either. nothing”. “We are an organization that discusses and debates. Everyone can support the option they want. And then, united,” he concludes.

Alliance with Podemos

The differences within IU Madrid are many and remarkable. Internally, for example, the assembly of IU Madrid city, the most important in the region numerically, has not met for months. That is where most of the opposition to the Aguilera y Cordero leadership is concentrated, which has the greatest impact outside the capital.

But outwards, facing the outside, it is the relationship with Podemos that makes the difference. Aguilera is committed to “expanding” the unit as much as possible “with everything that moves to the left of the PSOE.” In fact, there are already contacts to launch a “confederal table” at the regional level, one of the steps taken within United We Can to promote internal unity in the political space throughout the State and before the opening of a next electoral cycle.

The relations of the current direction of IU with Podemos are bad. It is one of the strengths of the candidacy led by Manu Castro and which proposes to normalize the understanding between both parties. In addition, it is clearly committed to adding Más Madrid to the project and defend both the United We Can coalition and the Government of coalition, as advanced by elDiario.es, very attacked by Aguilera and Cordero.

“The outgoing leadership of IU shares responsibility for the situation of mutual distrust,” says the political text of the Horizonte Madrid candidacy, which argues that this is the reason why “a part” of the IU militancy “has barely participated in the campaign “of the 4M. “The way of raising the relationship with Podemos of our leadership has also had its share of responsibility,” insists the document, which asks “to make a deep reflection and change” said relationship.


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