Pedro Sánchez proposes sending ministers to the municipal ones and facing another government crisis

With the danger of a bad result in the Andalusian elections on Sunday looming and the risk that the PSOE will panic because it will be weakened in the face of the regional and municipal elections in May and the next general elections, the socialist leadership has been carrying out work for weeks in search of Strong candidates for big cities. Among the options that Pedro Sánchez’s team is considering in Ferraz ministers are included, which would put the president on a platter of a new crisis in the Executive in the medium term. That is, if he is not forced to react before and pick up momentum.

The hole of the Socialists in the main capitals is so deep that it requires action so that it does not weigh down the regional vote, especially now that the brand has lost its luster due to the erosion of the coalition government and the appearance in the PP of Alberto Núñez Feijóo, as evidenced by almost all polls. The Executive needs oxygen for the final part of the legislature, especially if on 19-J there is a shipwreck in Andalusia. Furthermore, there is a widespread opinion that the remodeling of the Government of a year ago has not materializedmore designed to manage an economic recovery and the distribution of funds than to face more crises.

As this newspaper published, very authoritative voices in the Executive and in the party suggest that Sánchez will be pressured to make changes to give the Council of Ministers more political leverage. I could do it at any time and, surely, the depth of the result in Andalusia will mark the final calendar. But the plan in which Ferraz is already working, would force, at the latest, to undertake them in the face of the municipal elections. Knowledgeable sources assure that the socialist leadership is “firmly” considering the names of various ministers. They want the Minister of Health, Carolina Dariasbe the candidate in Las Palmas de Gran Canariaand they do not rule out proposing the head of Science, Diana Morantas the head of the list to the Valencia City Council. The possibility that Miquel Iceta lead the candidacy of Barcelona it is a decision that, formally, is in the hands of the PSC.

In the list of most populated cities, the PSOE only governs in Seville and you have to go down to position 13 and 15, Valladolid and Gijón, to find more socialist mayors. The dimension of this enormous hole is what leads Ferraz to think about promoting ministers.

The magnifying glass over Valencia

The Darias’ march to Las Palmas appears to be one of the options with the most promise of prospering, according to different sources. It has already transpired that the current mayor, Augusto Hidalgo, will not repeat and will be the PSOE candidate for the Cabildo de Gran Canarias. Someone strong is now required, and Darias, with the national showcase that the Ministry of Health has provided, is the ideal person, according to the sources consulted. The Canarian President Angel Victor Torreshas established himself at the head of a progressive government shared with three other forces -Nueva Canarias, Sí Podemos and Agrupación Socialista Gomera-, which ended 26 years of power of the Canary Coalition. But now it would be about advancing in the leadership of the PSOE.

Valencia is much more open. The Socialist leadership does not look favorably on the deputy mayor, Sandra Gómezwho rules as number two of Joan Ribó (Compromises). They think it hasn’t quite taken off and they need someone with more power. Party sources assure that in the federal congress, which was held in October in the city, Sánchez already transmitted it to the Valencian president, Ximo Puig.

In Ferraz they conjecture with the idea that the candidate is the Minister of Science but it is a very aerial vision, which denotes a great lack of knowledge of the territory. Diana Morant has no roots in Valencia and, in addition, she has been mayor of Gandía. It can be argued that the PP candidate, María José Català, was also from Torrent, but this municipality, in the metropolitan area of ​​the capital, does not have the same identity as Gandía. Living in Torrent is almost like living in Valencia. And Morant doesn’t even have a house in the city, in addition to the fact that their level of knowledge is very low. His passage through the Ministry is not assuming a great political takeoff.

But it is understandable that, from a Madrid perspective, the PSOE leadership is thinking of her as a replacement. Different sources is that there is a lot of concern about the candidacy in Valencia and that all the options on the table are being evaluated. Nevertheless, in the PSPV they assure that “Sandra Gómez has all their support”.

The same concern exists in Alicante and Zaragozawhere the Minister of Education was already a candidate, Pillar Joy. In Madrid it is decided to build a new leadership around Mercedes Gonzalez, which will be presented to the Mayor’s Office and who has already been at the head of the Government Delegation to give it more visibility. Here the socialists now seem convinced of promoting an alternative from the base, also with John Lobato in the Community, although last year’s regional elections seriously speculated on the names of the defense minister, Margaret Oaksand of the Industry, Kings Maroto.

The opportunity of Barcelona

Barcelona, ​​with the socialism totally on the rise after the last electoral victory of Salvador Illa, despite the fact that he could not govern, would be the ideal Iceta Destination, as they think about the party. But this falls to the PSC, a party twinned with the PSOE. Although in this stage of Sánchez’s absolute power, his opinion is always decisive. The future of the ministers is entirely in his hands.

Iceta’s passage through the Government is turning out to be very strange because no one who knows him is capable of denying his political capacity. But the truth is that the president has not counted on him in his closest nucleus and in the Executive he is totally wasted. It is precisely her profile that questions her candidacy for mayor since it does not seem that municipal politics is Iceta’s greatest vocation.

For months there has been talk of the Minister of Culture as the head of the bill, which forced Illa to say publicly that her candidate was Jaume Collboni, first deputy mayor of the Barcelona City Council, with Ada Colau at the helm. Knowledgeable sources maintain that he himself is promoting himself, something that Sandra Gómez also does in Valencia. Take for granted that they will repeat to try to ward off doubts. The difference is that in the case of Valencia there is no clear alternative. Something that does happen in Barcelona. Furthermore, in the previous elections Sánchez has already shown misgivings about Collboni’s candidacy.

Regarding what happens in Barcelona, ​​it is added that Illa also denied ad nauseam, even in the previous hours, that she was going to leave the Ministry of Health and lead the list of the PSC to the Generalitat. That same fear now exists around Iceta. If finally he does not present himself for mayor of Barcelona, ​​the minister would also be a piece with which the president could play to reinforce the political muscle of the Executive.

Decisions after the summer

The summer will be key to adopting all these decisions since in September, with the beginning of the political course, the action plan will have to be drawn up to face the internal primaries before the end of this year. The search for high-ranking candidates would convey the impression that the PSOE is going for it all in decisive elections such as the municipal ones.

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The new ministers, especially Morant, and that of Transport, Raquel Sánchez, have not been consolidated and with the departure of José Luis Ábalos and Carmen Calvo, the president has been left without protection. In fact, the ministers hardly talk about anything that does not have to do with their Ministry. The head of the Presidency, Félix Bolaños, acts as de facto vice president but he manages so many issues that he doesn’t seem to have enough hands for everything.

There is still time for the general but the clouds that hang over the Government force a reaction, according to many personalities in the party. The noise due to the permanent tension with United We Can or the dependence on ERC (now decreasing) and EH Bildu is so intense that it prevents La Moncloa from selling its achievements. The PP has been strengthened by Feijóo and his strategy of moving away from Vox. And the economic outlook has worsened with the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the energy and supply crisis and rising inflation. If Andalusia goes wrong, the PSOE will enter a phase of pessimism for which only Sánchez has treatment.

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