What Ione Belarra she was going to be proclaimed secretary general of Podemos this Sunday was an incontestable fact. His candidacy, “Crecer”, has obtained 88.7% of the votes. But that the Minister of Social Rights was unexpected for the position, no one can deny it, except for the “very few from the closest nucleus” to the resigned leader. Pablo Iglesias, even to the very moment that this newspaper confirmed it on May 6 at noon, after a leak, the night before, to Infoliber that suggested it.
And that Belarra inherits a party with convictions and judicial prosecutions of secretaries, spokesmen … and Iglesias himself – who risks being imputed by the Dina case-, in addition to being frankly backward, despite being part of the Government, it is also unquestionable.
It seems incredible that almost three months have already passed since the almighty leader announced that he was leaving the second Vice Presidency to launch himself into the electoral race of the Community of Madrid. It seems incredible that, then, on March 15, media like EL ESPAÑOL swallowed up with their message that this step backwards was a bet to “lead a left-wing government” that would evict Isabel Diaz Ayuso from the Puerta del Sol.
And that is completely out of place, in view of what happened next: the ayusazo 4-M, the turnaround in national polls in favor of a PP government, the constant anxiety in Moncloa … and the brutal ‘surprise’ of Más País, not only to the purple ones, but to the PSOE itself.
All tied up
This Sunday, after 12.30 pm, Podemos made the voting data official. The militants have issued 53,443 votes, of which 45,753 (88.7%) they have been for the new secretary general, Ione Belarra. Fernando Barredo achieved 6% support (3,106 votes) and Esteban Tettamanti, 5.3% (that is, 2,730 supports). Only 1,854 members of the purple party voted blank.
Saturday The IV Citizen Assembly of Podemos began in Alcorcón, the extraordinary Congress organized for the succession of Churches. And this Sunday Belarra was officially proclaimed as what came out of that urgent Executive of May 5, after the announcement that the leader left everything, but everything tied: she was the you hate me to take charge of the formation and … renew the party?
In this month and a week, Navarrese politics has traveled all over Spain to campaign. It has had the support of the Podemos apparatus. And the press teams inherited from Iglesias have made balances to support her as minister and boss in the chest without breaking the statutes.
Despite this, the other two candidates have felt neglected. Fernando Barredo he has accused the Executive of having become “a caste” wealthy, and the apparatus of “having favored Ione”. This same Saturday, when presenting his candidacy, microphone in hand, he accused the management of “pucherazo” while the other candidate, Esteban TettamantiHe described it as “disrespectful” for not having arrived at the congress in time to hear his proposals.
Belarra arrived at the open space in Alcorcón on Saturday proclaiming that his intention as purple leader is “to grow so that Podemos can be the first progressive force in Spain” … a risky statement because, despite being a government party, It is already the third force on the left in Madrid, its cradle, where he regionalism is now dominant. And rejecting the criticism: “This is a choral direction, and my project could be presented by Lilith Verstrynge and Pablo Fernández even better than me“.
This Sunday, he celebrated his more than sung victory by thanking the support of the confluences, IU and ERC -represented by the minister Alberto Garzon and the senator Mirella Cortès-, from the leaders of the UGT and CCOO unions, “and from all the social movements that have brought us here.”
Perhaps that is why his team sells positive objectives that are more of an emergency: “Broaden the bases” of Podemos, “demadrileñizar” the party, and try to give it a more powerful territorial structure “promoting agreements and confluences” with close forces … so, out there, nothing new. And also, the same growth plan as Más País.
His very numerous list (97 members), with which he attended this call Vistalegre IV, it included few new faces – posts of Iglesias for its list in Madrid, essentially, besides an actress, Maria Botto (56.36% of the votes), and one athlete, Roberto Sotomayor (41.30%) -, and is nourished by “the usual ones”.
In it were Irene Montero, her personal friend and Minister of Equality (77.07% support); Jaume Asens, president of the Parliamentary Group (63.85%); Pablo Echenique, spokesperson in Congress (66.57%); Rafa Mayoral, co-spokesperson for the party (69.85%); Isa Serra, the same (72.69%); Noelia Vera, Secretary of State (73.09%); Idoia Villanueva, MEP (67.56%); Sofia Castañón, deputy spokesperson in the Cortes; Juanma del Olmo, right hand of Iglesias (62.81%); Julio Rodriguez, the exJemad (59.05%) … all in the outgoing direction.
Neither is there in this, in view of the names, renewal.
And it is that, according to sources of his candidacy, what it is about It is not about revolutionizing the party, “but about growing”. Belarra is proud of what has been done, and in the belief that it is personally legitimate.
She is black leg. Came to Congress in January 2016, and it was just one more among the 69 deputies of Podemos, with Íñigo Errejón as spokesman … not even Montero attracted attention. In fact, she did not stand out until the current Minister of Equality, already promoted to the leadership and spokesperson, had to remain on leave after her first childbirth and she should have taken the voice of the purples in the lower house.
Critics say of her that “He has never said anything that was not convenient to be where he is today. “Those closest to him emphasize that “She is a tireless worker and negotiator”. And his team of collaborators in this campaign month is committed to a Podemos “at the best moment to move forward”, taking advantage of the fact that it is part of the coalition government, and proud of having “changed the course of the history of Spain.”
How to “grow”
Something that Belarra’s list does fulfill is the commitment to “feminize the party.” Not only because of her status as a woman, but because the top six positions on the list were female and, Among the top 15 names, only five were male: “We want to grow in many different dimensions, including more voices, demonstrating the choral and feminist leadership that exists in Podemos”, they explain from their environment.
And according to his collaborators, the way to contain the bleeding of votes – only recently stopped in Catalonia, repeating seats, and in Madrid, thanks to the pull of Iglesias as head of the list – is twofold. On the one hand, organic growth, recruiting militants, “strengthening one of the main values of our training”.
Growing up is feminism, it is environmentalism, it is building together a better society for all.
– Ione Belarra (@ionebelarra) June 8, 2021
For the other, taking advantage of the pull of one of the highest valued ministers, Yolanda Díaz, as the visible leader of the “space of change”. Although the third vice president is not from Podemos – as she herself is in charge of remembering each occasion that presents itself – and it remains to be seen whether she accepts to chain the purple leadership in the coalition with the candidacy in general: “I’m not on it, nor am I interested in that matter”, has clarified this newspaper.
Podemos has been orphaned of the personalism that elevated him and that was beginning to be a burden. Iglesias himself left the night of 4-M admitting that his presence “no longer adds”, consequence of the feedback of the brand with its effigy. Proof of this is that outside of Madrid, Podemos has stayed outside the Parliament of Galicia, the Castillas, the Basque Country … and in the capital the rest was thrown with the leader and former vice president so that, in the end, one such Monica Garcia.
Belarra’s challenge, he says, is “to grow in every corner of our country and in every circle,” without losing its greatest strength, the street. “We must consolidate our relationship with civil society, showing that the essence of Podemos is the defense of social justice, feminism, of ecology, of the struggle of those below, “he explained this Saturday.
She herself comes from social activism, with minors and migrants, fields in which she has demonstrated her knowledge in the ministerial management of the border crisis between Ceuta and Morocco: in 24 hours she convened a sectoral conference with the Autonomous Communities and started the generalized commitment of the autonomies to relocate hundreds of boys housed in the social centers of the autonomous city to make room for the newcomers in the assault … and be able to process their return to Morocco.