The Andalusian left-wing coalition negotiates a “political fit” for Podemos but without direct access to financing

Everything can be agreed with Podemos, except the distribution of money. The six parties of the left-wing coalition ‘For Andalusia’ – IU, Podemos, Más País, Equo, the Andalusian People’s Initiative and the Green Alliance – met this Monday electronically to shelve the legal mess in which they have been immersed since on Friday night and agree on the political formula with which to integrate the purple formation in the candidacy.

The first step has been to immediately rule out the option of presenting an appeal to the Central Electoral Board, after the Andalusian body rejected the rectification letter with which the four parties of the original coalition intended to include Podemos and Alianza Verde after the deadline established law.

“It is a road to nowhere, because we all know that they are going to knock it down”, admit sources of the negotiation, who understand that “the most reasonable thing” is to close the legal chapter and turn the page as soon as possible of the “grotesque” lived in the night on Friday, when Podemos rushed the deadline to register the coalition before the Electoral Board to the limit, with the aim of achieving more power within the candidacy, and did not arrive in time to register his signature when he reached an agreement with IU and resigned the candidate who had won his internal primaries, Juan Antonio Delgado.

This Monday’s meeting was preceded by public statements by all the leaders involved in this confluence to make it clear that “there is no plan B”, that is, that the political agreement prevails over the legal gap and that Podemos will not distance itself in the last moment to go alone to the Andalusian elections on June 19.

At the hour and a half meeting, it was agreed to entrust the legal team of the six parties with drafting a political document that makes two things clear: one, that ‘For Andalusia’ is a “political coalition” of six parties that will attend together on 19J; and two, that nothing that is agreed by political means can alter what is established in the registration form of the legal coalition before the Electoral Board. The plan is for the leaders of the six parties to publicly present the coalition to the media next Wednesday in Seville.

From then on, the table of parties has run into almost the same negotiation difficulties as before registering the ‘Por Andalucía’ brand, and with the difficulties that arose after registration. Nothing flows yet as the main actors expect to be able to focus all their forces on launching their candidate for the Presidency of the Board, the IU deputy Inma Nieto, and start talking about the “program, program, program” and the campaign strategy electoral.

The underlying problem is how to reconcile the terms of the agreement of the four parties of the original coalition – the only one legally validated by the Andalusian Electoral Board – with the bilateral agreement signed in extremis by IU and Podemos on the night of registration. The two documents rub against and collide on some points and, moreover, Más País, Equo and Initiative do not accept all the terms of that parallel negotiation. As we are not legally part of the confluence, Podemos is not in the management and coordination bodies of ‘Por Andalucía’. The coalition registration form, in point four, leaves the door open to integrate new parties, even giving them the same political weight (never legal). Podemos is not in the coalition logo and that “cannot be fixed”.

That obstacle could be overcome, but then there are two other difficulties for which, for now, there is no solution in sight: one is the legal impossibility, in the opinion of all the expert jurists consulted, of sharing with Podemos the electoral subsidies and the parliamentary funds, which are highly valued and controlled by Parliament and by the Court of Auditors. The purple formation will not be able to have direct access to the money, despite having agreed with IU that 60% would correspond to it.

Sources from the ‘Por Andalucía’ coalition point out that the table of parties has only transferred this Monday to Podemos the need to “modify aspects related to the financing formulas since, being left out of the coalition for pushing the registration times to the limit , the financing method, as it was established, would not comply with the regulations of the Court of Auditors”.

In addition, they recall that ‘Por Andalucía’ is a “purely Andalusian” project and that therefore “it is important that the talks take place in the Andalusian sphere, without interference from the federal leadership of the parties”, in a clear allusion to direct intervention of the national leadership of the purple party. In the discount minutes of the negotiation, it was the secretary of the Organization of Podemos, Lilith Vestrynge, who assumed the terms of the agreement in the first person. Although on the side of IU, the intervention of the team of the Vice President of the Government, Yolanda Díaz, who ended up being directly involved in the process through her chief of staff, Josep Vendrell, was also fundamental.

Positions and electoral lists

In addition to the problem of money management, there is also the distribution of elected positions in the Chamber –the Parliamentary Table, the presidencies in the commissions– and in the parliamentary extraction bodies, such as the RTVA or the Chamber of Accounts. This distribution of armchairs is also discussed by Más País and the rest of the parties.

Finally, there is the distribution of the candidates in the provincial lists, whose deadline for preparation and registration opens this Wednesday and ends next Monday, May 16. The purples have expressed today their determination to include their candidates appearing as independents on the lists, provided that the positions agreed with IU are respected – four starting positions in Córdoba, Cádiz, Huelva and Granada.

Before the deadline of May 16, all legal and political doubts must be resolved so that the confluence starts to work once and for all. But, at this point, mutual mistrust and misgivings remain trapped in the internal debate among coalition members. Singularly Podemos, that while the leaders of the six parties were meeting, has spread a message to accuse IU of “rejecting” the political agreement that it signed with them in the minute of discount, to get the purple formation to enter the coalition. From the table of parties, on the other hand, the idea is transferred that they are seeking to build a political agreement that brings about the consensus of the six.

The confluence ‘For Andalusia’ will therefore be a hybrid between the legally constituted coalition and the political coalition agreed in parallel by the two majority partners. There is no legal basis for Podemos to claim what it has agreed with IU, so the glue of the alliance is mutual trust. Something that generates many doubts for the purples, because they all come from a previous confluence –Adelante Andalucía– that has already been blown up due to deep discrepancies between its founding partners. The purple formation has insisted that it has in mind the mechanisms to position itself within the coalition on equal terms with the rest, but nothing is known about those formulas.

Rules of Procedure

The registration form of the coalition of four parties leaves pending the preparation of the regulations of the future parliamentary group, which will lay the foundations for the internal rules of the members of the confluence. This document is required of all groups now and has special importance since the reform of the Parliament’s regulations that was approved ad hoc to frame the expulsion of Teresa Rodríguez and 10 other deputies from Adelante, accused of being turncoats. The legal vacuum in that litigation was precisely in the absence of an internal regulation of the coalition. Now, the six parties will have to negotiate their internal regulations and in that margin, the members of Podemos can recover part of the political weight lost by staying outside the coalition.

In the midst of this political crisis, the national leadership of Podemos has come out to defend the Andalusian confluence as “the first step” of the broad front of the Vice President of the Government, Yolanda Díaz. This she, however, has given this Monday a visible leap back regarding her involvement with the Andalusian project, prudently distancing herself from the mess in which she finds herself immersed. Díaz’s team has actively participated in the final negotiation of the agreement, to finally get Podemos and IU to understand each other and appear together under the same acronym. Díaz was photographed with all its members last Thursday, during the Seville Fair, where she urged them to “add projects and differences.” She then walked through the royal embraced Inma Nieto, candidate of the confluence.

This Monday, however, he clarified: “My listening process has nothing to do with what we are seeing in Andalusia. It will be a transversal, broad and cross-border process. The parties will not be in the center. They will have to be but they are not being. What we are seeing in Andalusia is what keeps people away from politics”.

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