Sol Carreras I

Madrid, September 19 (EFE) .- The PSOE sets its sights on the municipal and regional elections of May 2023 with the start of the primary process this Monday in some municipalities and autonomous communities and with two great challenges: recovering Madrid and maintaining the Valencian government , one of the most threatened by the PP.

The celebration of the Federal Political Council of the PSOE, which brought together the President of the Government, Pedro Sánchez, with the socialist barons last Saturday in Zaragoza, served to start working on the content of the next electoral programs, but above all it was an act symbolic.

In the communities, the PSOE has nine presidents and two regional vice-presidents and assures that it is also “the strongest party in local governments”

Sánchez himself said that the objective was to show “the strength of a party in form, united, which manifests itself in each of the municipalities and territories to win the elections and be the first political force in this country”.

Objective, avoid a defeat like the Andalusian

And it is that the PSOE wants at all costs to avoid a new setback after its defeat in the regional elections last February in Castile and León and especially after the blow suffered in June in Andalusia, a traditional socialist stronghold where the PP has won by absolute majority. .

The Andalusian debacle was a shock for the PSOE, which in July renewed its spokespersons and other positions of responsibility both within the federal executive and in the Congress of Deputies.

The PSOE does not provide for the celebration of primaries in the autonomous communities or municipalities governed by a socialist who wishes to run again

These changes, demanded internally, have opened a phase of optimism within the PSOE, reinforced by the intervention of Sánchez in the debate on the state of the nation held in July in Congress and by the recent face-off in the Senate between Sánchez and the PP leader, Alberto Núñez Feijóo.

“Pedro is a rock”, commented in a very graphic way one of the regional leaders of the PSOE on Saturday in Zaragoza.

The President of the Government, Pedro Sánchez (c), delivers a speech during the meeting of the Federal Political Council of the PSOE in Zaragoza. EFE/Javier Belver

Disassemble Feijoo

Ahora el gran reto del PSOE es mantener estos buenos ánimos hasta la celebration de las elecciones municipales y autonómicas de mayo de 2023 y de las generales, previstas para finales de ese año, y convencer al electorado de que el PP de Feijóo “no es lo who appears”.

For this reason, the dismantling of the “Feijóo character” and his “apparent moderation” is one of the priorities of the PSOE, according to various socialist sources, who consider that the PP has already reached its peak in the polls, after many between them. will be the first force.

Ahead of the municipal and regional elections, the most immediate, the PSOE plays with the trick that it currently has more territorial power than the PP.

For example, in the case of the autonomous communities, the PSOE has nine presidents and two regional vice-presidents, and assures that it is also “the strongest party in local governments”, since “more than 20.6 million ‘Spaniards have a mayor or a socialist mayor’. mayor.

The PSOE begins to elect its candidates

The primary process, which begins this Monday in some communities and municipalities with the deadline for the presentation of candidates for the next elections, is a clear sign of the territorial strengths and weaknesses of the PSOE.

The first fact to take into account is that in May 2023 there will be municipal elections throughout Spain and regional elections in all the communities except Andalusia, Castile and León, the Basque Country, Galicia and Catalonia, although the PSOE does not exclude that there is to be an electoral advance in Castilla y Leon, where the PP governs with Vox.

Moreover, the PSOE does not provide for the holding of primaries in the autonomous communities or municipalities governed by a socialist who wishes to run again, unless the militancy collects a sufficient number of signatures to force competition with an alternative candidate.

This is what happened in Gijón, whose mayor, socialist Ana González, finally decided to step back and not run again.

At the regional level, on the other hand, there will be no primaries in any of the communities governed by the PSOE: Aragón (Javier Lambán), Asturias (Adrián Barbón), Baleares (Francina Armengol), Canarias (Ángel Víctor Torres), Castile- La Mancha (Emiliano García-Page), Extremadura (Guillermo Fernández Vara), La Rioja (Concha Andreu), Navarre (María Chivite) and the Valencian Community (Ximo Puig).

The Battle of Valencia

The PSOE aspires to win again in all these autonomous communities, although it is aware of the need for the parties of its left to join, as well as the pressure that the PP exerts in Aragon and mainly in the Balearic Islands and the Valencian Community.

Valencian President, Ximo Puig (c), and PSC leader Salvador Illa upon their arrival at the PSOE Federal Political Council meeting in Zaragoza. EFE / Javier Belver

In fact, various socialist sources recognize that one of the great battles will take place in the Valencian Community, where the coalition with Compromís has played a trick on the PSOE, especially after the accusation of former vice-president Mónica Oltra for the alleged concealment. of sexual abuse by her ex-husband to a minor protected by the Generalitat.

Despite this, at the PSOE they assure that Ximo Puig “is strong” and they are convinced that he will continue to lead the government after the elections.

Sánchez bets on Lobato for the Community of Madrid

Where there will be primaries, it will be in the autonomous communities of Murcia, Cantabria and Madrid, one of the places most sought after by the PSOE and in which it is foreseeable that the candidate will be the leader of the Madrid socialists, Juan Lobato.

Sánchez bet directly on him during his speech on Saturday at the Federal Political Council of the PSOE, appointing him as the future president of the Community of Madrid.

“We will help you, we also need socialism in Madrid,” he told her.

Madrid City Council vacancy

The main unknown continues to be the PSOE’s candidacy for mayor of Madrid, another of the centers of power that most resists the Socialists, but where on this occasion the regional leadership defines the strategy of Ferraz, who accepted, for example , to delay the dates of the primaries, according to party sources.

These same sources assure that the name has already been decided and add that they do not want to reveal it yet to give all the importance to Lobato’s candidacy for the Community of Madrid.

PSOE organizing secretary and party number three Santos Cerdán has ruled out the possibility of poet Luis García Montero being Madrid’s candidate, but other socialist sources neither confirm nor deny that option.

These sources also do not exclude the possibility that he is a socialist minister or former minister and insist that the candidate must be a person of social prestige, who has the affection of the public and of the party itself, and with ambition.

In Madrid City Council, the primary process has been delayed by two months compared to the general timetable established by the PSOE, so that the presentation of candidacies moves from September 19 and 20 to November 21 and 22, and the vote in the first round starting at October. December 9 to 11.

This is not the only case, there will also be delays, for example in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, where the name of the Minister of Health, Carolina Darias, is gaining strength as a candidate, or in Cantabria, where Socialist Vice President Pablo Zuloaga has yet to reveal whether he will run.

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