The most important decision that Pablo Iglesias has made in recent hours is not to be a candidate in Madrid. It is to stop being vice president and thus begin to abandon the leadership of the formation that he created out of nothing seven years ago and that as the first logo had his own face on the ballot for the 2014 European elections because he was better known for the TV talk shows that the name of the party. Iglesias had thought for a long time that he was not going to be the next candidate of the formation, according to sources from United Podemos, and he was thinking about how to organize that change in leadership to leave Yolanda Díaz in front, but it was the failed motion in Murcia and its explosive consequences in Madrid which has precipitated everything. Iglesias tries to save his experiment in Madrid, the community that saw him born in the Faculty of Political Sciences of the Complutense University, where almost all the founders worked, before starting the definitive way out.
The decision was definitely made this weekend. The situation was absolutely critical for the formation of Churches. After the debacle in Galicia, where it disappeared from Parliament, and the collapse in the Basque Country, followed by the fratricidal battle in Andalusia that ended the candidate, Teresa Rodríguez, outside of the United We Can group, the Catalan elections were a respite . In Comú Podem he saved the furniture by repeating the result in seats in the last elections, although with much fewer votes due to the drop in participation. But in Madrid things were much more complicated. All the polls indicated that Podemos would not reach 5% and would stay outside Parliament, as in Galicia. But it was much more serious. Madrid is the heart of Podemos. And also Más Madrid, Íñigo Errejón’s group, was going to keep all the space to the left of the PSOE because they did have possibilities of comfortably exceeding 5%. Something had to be done.
Garzón did not see clear to attend in Madrid
So Iglesias was on top of Wednesday to find a solution. And he thought he found it in Alberto Garzón. If Sánchez removed Salvador Illa from the Government to take him to Catalonia, he would do it with the Minister of Consumption to save the situation in Madrid. But neither Garzón nor many other leaders of the United Left saw it clearly. They understood that the general coordinator of IU cannot leave the national policy to go to the local one. There were attempts to convince him, but on Friday it was already clear that it would not be possible and on Saturday the no was confirmed.
Iglesias considered other options, but none of them were 100% successful or guaranteed to exceed the complex limit of 5%, in which IU already fell in 2015. So he made the decision to hasten the decision that had been maturing, this is to start the relay in United We can, and he took the opportunity to justify it in the best possible way: as a sacrifice to stop the extreme right in Madrid. Iglesias wants, yes, as he explained this Monday in an interview in La Sexta, to remain as vice president until April 14, when the campaign begins, to achieve one last political objective: to pass the housing law and get the PSOE to accept his approaches to rent regulation, at least in part.
What no one who knows Iglesias imagines is that the founder of United We Can, an atypical politician who does not last long anywhere, remains calm in the opposition in the Madrid Assembly until the legislature is exhausted. His bet, as usual, seems to be all or nothing: “If you go out thinking that you are going to be an opposition, you have already lost. We went out to convince people in the neighborhoods of Madrid not to stay at home. To tell them that we can remove these ultras from the Government of Madrid. Asleep we cannot confront this extreme right ”, he assured in La Sexta. This is either he wins or this will be the beginning of the end of his political career. Iglesias has already said many times that he is not a typical politician and has not been here to stay for many years. It takes seven. No one thought that he would be willing to leave the government after he was even willing to risk repeating an election to get there. But it has.
In recent months, the situation within the Executive had become very complicated, with constant tensions between the partners, but especially Iglesias had suffered great personal wear and tear with daily pressure from small groups of the extreme right in front of his home. The tension had reached the level that the Iglesias-Montero family could not even make a mini-vacation that they had planned in Asturias with their three children after the harassment they were subjected to in a town where Enrique Santiago has a home.
Iglesias continues to be the leader of Podemos, and has only pointed to Yolanda Díaz as the next candidate for the generals, but not in the organic positions. Díaz is not a member of Podemos, not even of the United Left. He is still only active in the PCE. Iglesias will also have to organize his succession in Podemos. It may not be imminent, but none of those consulted has doubts that the way out started with this movement has a difficult reversal. United We thus begins an unprecedented process: surviving its founder, with a hyper-leadership that has occupied almost everything in these seven years, while several of those who accompanied him in that initial photo were leaving training after several fratricidal wars.
Now Iglesias asks Errejón, with whom he has not yet spoken, to be generous: “All the scars pale in the face of something like stopping the extreme right,” he told him in the interview. He even says that he is willing not to be the head of the list in a possible merger with Más Madrid. “People want us to go together, to leave differences. I hope that Mas Madrid carries out that reflection. I am willing to go second. Let’s do some primaries and if the registrants decide that Mónica García [la candidata de Más Madrid] You have to head the candidacy, I am delighted to occupy the position that corresponds to me. In the past, the divisions gave Madrid to the right and the extreme right ”. The leader of Unidas Podemos thus seems to be trying to get things ready for his final departure. The messages that he transmits in these hours would make one think that it is not very far, but making forecasts in the maddened Spanish politics is a high-risk task with an almost guaranteed failure.