You are currently viewing The Podemos congress ignores Pablo Iglesias to open the Belarra era

The future of Podemos is already being debated among its bases. The IV State Citizen Assembly concludes this weekend to determine the succession of Pablo Iglesias and choose who will head the formation in the coming years. A meeting that faces the complex challenge of turning the page of hyper-leadership and dependence on the former secretary general to make way for Ione Belarra.

After years with an absolute weight and influence, it has been striking how the figure of Iglesias has tiptoed through the congress, practically unnoticed. Just a couple of isolated mentions of the official candidacy and of a critical candidacy, during the highlight of the day, the interventions and presentations of the candidates.

On the part of Belarra’s candidacy, it has been Pablo Fernandez who has recalled “the generosity, courage and courage” of the former vice president of the Government. In the two mentions, the ovation has resounded in the amphitheater. Nothing else.

Since the critical candidacy of Esteban Tettamanti it has been even more explicit and loving: “Nobody deserves an applause like Pablo Iglesias”; “We love you and we vindicate you,” he said in reference to the hitherto leader purple, who is not expected to attend the relay step precisely so as not to “protect” the new stage resulting from the voting.

A grandstand that is new for the Podemos Assembly: the Paco de Luca de Alcorcn Auditorium he has dressed as a gora purple for the occasion, and barely several hundred militants have come to hear this Saturday the proposals of the three candidates for the general secretary. Far from the thousands that practically filled Vistalegre in the early stages of the game. The heat and the pandemic have meant that only half of the amphitheater squares have been occupied. It is expected that on Sunday, which is when the results will be communicated, the presence will increase.

Absence of Belarra

The exhibition of the political and ethical program of the official candidacy has had a surprise: the favorite to lead Podemos, Belarra, has not intervened to present her guidelines. The time has been distributed among various members of his candidacy: Isa Serra, Pablo Fernndez, Javier Snchez Serna and Lilith Verstrynge they have been in charge of taking the floor. In fact, Belarra herself was not present during the speeches of the rest of the candidates.

Why this cast of voices? Belarra’s commitment is to promote the “corality” of the new Podemos, and the reinforcement of feminization and territorial decentralization. This last point explains the intervention of Fernndez and Sánchez Serna, coordinators of Podemos in Castilla y Len and Murcia, respectively.

“We have the whole future ahead of us,” Isa Serra acknowledged about the new stage that Podemos is facing shortly. A chapter that Verstrynge has asked to assume “with hope” and claiming the “radical autonomy” of the formation during these years, outside and within the Government.

In this sense, Verstrynge has considered that Spain is “plural, different” and already “of legal age” to avoid tutelage: “We are ready to raise the debate on a republic”, he said, a reflection that has raised the applause of the public .

Militancy is, in the eyes of Pablo Fernández, what has sustained the spirit of Podemos since its appearance. For this reason, he has asked those registered to draw “muscle” to ensure the success of their policies: “As long as Podemos is active, they will never beat us.”

The challenge of mobilizing the rank and file must be achieved through more solidly rooting the party at the territorial level. All the candidates agree on this. Fernndez, representing Belarra, has expressed the need to develop “with great force” the regional party structures and ally with “sister political forces.”

Critics: “The Alternative Has Been Denied”

The two critical candidacies with the course of the formation have charged against the organization and internal management of the party in recent years, as well as with the transparency in the formation’s accounts.

Fernando Barredo has defined the participatory process as a “camouflaged cacicada” and has criticized that the official list, led by Ione Belarra, has taken advantage of its position with institutional and public presence to campaign. “The alternative has been ignored,” he lamented.

“A blow is being perpetrated, as in the previous Assembly,” has denounced Barredo, who has constantly stressed that this participatory system “is not democratic.”

This was the most tense moment of the entire session. The critic, who has asked “a little bit of self-criticism”, has been booed from the public to the cry of “traitor”, “spokesman” or “scoundrel”. “Long live the freedom of expression in this party”, has ironized on the whistles and insults received.

An “assembly exprs”

Esteban Tettamanti, councilor of the San Lorenzo de El Escorial City Council and head of the Podemos Horizontal candidacy, has reviewed the deficiencies of the party, mainly the territorial ones, and has made a harsh criticism against the leadership of the party that he intends “with an express assembly, tutelary to the militants “.

Tettamenti has missed a debate, long demanded by the critical candidacies and denied by the leadership, and has regretted that, in its absence, the candidate from the official list, Ione Belarra, did not even go to the Citizen Assembly to hear the proposals and criticisms of his opponents. In this sense, Tettamenti has demanded that the Minister of Social Affairs and Agenda 2030 take “a step back so that the party takes two steps forward”

Podemos Horizontal claims the limitation of a single position, be it party or institutional; that the members of the formation that enter the Government are not part of the management; more transparency in expenses and income of the party that, they assure, have not been updated since 2018 and limitation of any salary to triple the minimum interprofessional salary.

Tettamanti has advocated opening a “constituent process in the party” because a good part of the militancy, he said, no longer feels part of the organization that “is on the way to becoming a traditional force like any other.”


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