Early Andalucian election alarm bells ring

Rumours are spreading that the elections to the Junta de Andalucia may be bought forwards to coincide with the May municipal elections after President Susana Diaz ordered all provincial PSOE heads to a secret lunch next Tuesday.

https://twitter.com/JaviRivero/status/556865252936388608

If she wants to convoke elections for May, then she must announce them before the 27th of January. The lunch is being held just before a meeting of the Andalucian council of government, and the law stipulates that this organ must approve any election timetable. Although in reality this is a formality, the “surprise lunch” being held just hours before the bi-monthly meeting has started the gossip mill rolling.

Susana Diaz’s PSOE party rules Andalucia in coalition with the communist Izquierda Unida party, and over the last year tensions have been running high between the coalition on how to move forwards. The voters of the IU are furious with their leaders for not pursuing corruption cases across Andalucia and for pandering to the PSOE. Several high profile blow outs between Andalusian ministers over the Christmas period have also risen eyebrows, and even rumours of a coalition split.

Susana also has an eye on the Podemos party, which has only just established itself officially in Andalucia but looks set to take a large percentage of the vote once it gets going. By bringing elections forward to May she could catch them before they manage to get a strong regional powerbase.

The hawks in her party have already called for early elections. The doves urge restraint and hope to take advantage of an improving economy if elections are later.

 

The PSOE have pushed through the budget for 2015, which means that even if the coalition splits Susana could comfortable rule with a minority government until the end of her term in March 2016. But Susana may have greater things on her mind – namely, the national leadership.

If she can pull in Andalucia for the PSOE again, especially if she can take advantage of the IU current poor position in the polls and see off the imminent Podemos threat, then she could be in a very good position to launch a coup d´etât at the national level in the summer, installing her second to oversee Andalucia whilst she kicks out Pedro Sánchez and leads the PSOE in the next national election.

Spain’s first female prime minister? You heard it here first folks!

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