It's official. After ten days of intense negotiations, the Spanish radical left announced on Friday 9 June an agreement in extremis to unite for the legislative elections of 23 July, despite differences and details that remain to be settled.

This agreement, formalized Friday night by Sumar, platform of the communist Minister of Labor Yolanda Diaz, was essential to allow the socialist Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez, who governs in coalition with the radical left, to hope to stay in power.

It includes fifteen political parties, including Podemos, the main party of the non-socialist left, which finally agreed to join the platform launched by Yolanda Diaz, after long and difficult negotiations.

"This is the broadest agreement ever reached in Spanish democratic history between progressive and ecologist forces," Sumar said in a statement, welcoming the "plurality" of this alliance.

The Spanish parties had until Friday midnight to submit their candidacies for this early election, called by Pedro Sanchez after the rout of the left in the regional and municipal elections of May 28. The exact composition of the lists must be detailed before 19 June.

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The main figure of the radical left, Yolanda Díaz had set herself the goal of rallying all the parties of this political family under the banner of Sumar. But it had so far failed to wrest Podemos' signature.

This party, heir to the Indignados movement, suffered a heavy debacle during the local elections of 28 May and feared losing influence by merging into the platform of Yolanda Díaz, with whom relations are now tense.

Irene Montero at the heart of the discord

One of the main obstacles was the candidacy for the legislative elections of Irene Montero, Minister of Equality and companion of former former Podemos leader Pablo Iglesias, whom some Sumar member parties did not want, according to Spanish media.

A key figure in Podemos but a divisive personality, Irene Montero has been heavily criticized in recent months in the country for a law on sexual violence, which she was at the origin of and which had the perverse effect of reducing the sentences of hundreds of aggressors.

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The "exclusion" of Irene Montero is "an injustice and a terrible political error," regretted Friday afternoon the secretary general of Podemos Ione Belarra, saying to oppose this "veto" without renouncing the alliance with Sumar.

Neither Podemos nor Sumar gave details of their lists on Friday evening. But according to several Spanish media, Irene Montero is not included.

The union of the radical left within Sumar was considered by political observers as fundamental for Pedro Sanchez if the latter wishes to retain the hope of remaining in power at the head of a left-wing coalition.

According to a poll published this week by the daily El Pais, the conservative Popular Party (PP) and the far-right Vox would win a majority of seats in parliament in the legislative elections if the radical left leaves divided.

In the case of a union of Podemos and Sumar, the PP would win the election but without an absolute majority with Vox, which would give the left a chance to govern in a minority, with the support of several regionalist parties.

With AFP

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