The secretary general of the PSOE of Andalusia, Juan Espadas, has reappeared this Monday to clothe Antonio Muñoz as his successor as head of the mayor of Seville, a position whose resignation was forced to accelerate on December 20 to be able to take office as regional senator, a seat that was incompatible with that of councilor according to Andalusian legislation. Released from his role as mayor of the most important city governed by the Socialists in Spain, Espadas can now fully dedicate himself to launching his strategy as a candidate for the Junta and strengthening before Andalusian voters a profile until now little known beyond the capital. Andalusian.
The plan to make itself known to citizens will begin this week, although the date marked on the calendar to project its leadership is next January 10, according to sources from its surroundings confirm to this newspaper. Espadas plans to travel through Andalusia “from Pulpí to Ayamonte” through meetings with mayors, events with associations and groups from different sectors and also events more open to the public. In his primary campaign for the socialist candidacy for the Junta, he made municipalism and the importance of the socialist mayors one of his flags and now he wants to exploit that tactic in the pre-campaign to preside over the Junta. In the Andalusian PSOE they are aware of the electoral trump card of governing in more than 57% of the municipalities of the community and that will be the main gateway that their general secretary will use to make himself known and set his own agenda .
The Espadas team assures that their intention was to have started these meetings last week, just after his resignation as mayor, but that the growth of infections caused by the new omicron variant has forced them to be cautious and they have preferred to wait to know the conclusions of the committee of experts of the Board, which met this Monday, to be able to adapt the planning of the events to eventual capacity restrictions, which have not been finally approved.
Winner in primaries
On June 13, Espadas won the primaries to preside over the Board after defeating the former Andalusian president, Susana Díaz, and on July 23 he was proclaimed the new general secretary of the PSOE in that community. Since then, the Andalusian leader has been combining his new functions with the mayor of Seville, a duality that has disturbed part of his party that understood that this double responsibility prevented the candidate from focusing his tasks in opposition to the Government of PP and Citizens – who were already born burdened by the fact of not occupying a seat in the Andalusian Parliament – and consolidating their own program. The team of the new leader, who was not appointed until the beginning of November, with the celebration of the regional congress, has also been slow to settle in the regional headquarters in San Vicente.
It is now when the socialist leader has a clear horizon to focus on the pre-campaign. Time is short and the electoral advance in Castilla y León may also precipitate the date of the Andalusian elections. In the Espadas environment, this circumstance is seen as an opportunity rather than as a new obstacle. They consider that this time the community will be another that will serve as an electoral laboratory and will allow the Andalusian socialists to gauge the scope of the maneuvers of the rest of the political formations. In addition, the sources consulted explain to this newspaper, “it will serve as an opportunity to show citizens that the PSOE is really focused on proposals while the other parties are focused on electoralist tactics.”
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In these six months Espadas has been accompanied by heavyweights from his party, including the President of the Government himself, Pedro Sánchez, in different events, as a sign of the leadership’s support for his candidacy. But now the pending issue is to gain the trust of citizens. Although the PSOE has contained the loss of votes with respect to the PP, according to the latest poll by Centra (the Andalusian CIS) published on December 20, the leader of the Andalusian Socialists does not approve in his assessment as leader – the fourth, with 4.58, two hundredths above the one who is running as Vox candidate, Macarena Olona (4.56), but behind the president, Juan Manuel Moreno (PP), the most valued (6.36), the vice-president, Juan Marín (Cs) (5.34) and the aspirant of Andaluces Levantaos, Esperanza Gómez, (4.78) -. In terms of degree of knowledge, it also remains in fourth place, according to the same barometer, with 61.9%, behind Moreno (92.3%), Marín (74.2) and the leader of Adelante Andalucía, Teresa Rodríguez (69.9%).
George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.