Changes were expected in the PSOE. They arrive. Adriana Lastra, deputy general secretary of the party, has informed Pedro Sánchez, general secretary of the socialist formation, of her decision to resign from the position. Lastra alleges personal and health reasons to make this decision. An exit that occurs at a time when Sánchez was meditating changes in the socialist leadership and after showing his discomfort at the “friendly fire” coming from Ferraz, where the latent tension between Lastra and Santos Cerdán, Secretary of Organization, worried in the match. Lastra’s departure offers Sánchez the window to undertake a remodeling in the socialist leadership.
Lastra, in a statement outlining his resignation, explains that in recent months “important changes have occurred in my personal life that require calm and rest and that, in the last two weeks, have forced me to take time off work that It’s going to take a while.” And he adds that “given the difficulty of combining the demands of rest and care, essential in my current situation, with the intensity required by the leadership of the Party, I have submitted my resignation as Deputy Secretary General.”
After the blow suffered in the elections in Andalusia, the focus was on Ferraz, headquarters of the PSOE’s national leadership. As they wielded in training, there were people who “felt singled out.” The spotlights, in the dome. And a “friendly fire” was unleashed where, as a result of a complaint expressed by Sánchez about the problems in communicating the government’s achievements, some took it for granted that the party’s spokespersons would be changed.
But until now, the Secretary General and President of the Government had not made any decision, keeping the party in a state of “tension”, as recognized by leaders. But he did have decided to put an end to these internal struggles. He would intervene. It was taken for granted in the formation that the national leadership would play. This Monday the 18th the federal Executive had not been convened, which, in theory, was due on the calendar. It seemed that Sánchez delayed the changes. But Lastra comes forward with a reasoned resignation in a “job leave that is going to last for some time” and opens the way for Sánchez.
In the last meeting of the federal Executive, the general secretary of the PSOE showed his anger at this “friendly fire” and sent a clear message to his people, according to several of the attendees: “Stop the nonsense!”. He does not like the “noise” within the coalition, at least within his own party.
The truth is that no one in the PSOE was unaware of the latent tension between Lastra and Cerdán. The position of number 2 was rather empty of power, and Lastra ceased to be the parliamentary spokesperson because Sánchez appointed Héctor Gómez in his place, while Cerdán assumed organic control of the party.
In an attempt to rebalance the balance of power, Sánchez gave Lastra the strategic coordination of the parliamentary groups in Congress, the Senate and the European Parliament and communication policy. This last area was precisely the object of criticism by Sánchez, due to the fact that the party did not correctly convey the achievements of the Government.
But socialist sources wield gear problems between Ferraz and the parliamentary groups and also between Ferraz and La Moncloa. Also the lack of political weight in the party and the absence of “squires” to act as parapets for Sánchez. That is why they expected Sánchez to make a move to try to activate the PSOE in electoral mode. Lastra, in his statement, explains that he transferred his decision “days ago” to Sánchez: “I want to thank him for his trust all these years traveled on a path that many believed impossible and that we have made a reality step by step.”
Lastra is one of the people who has always been by Sánchez’s side. She was one of his main supporters to reconquer the general secretariat of the PSOE, and one of the key people in putting together the majorities that have supported Sánchez. However, recently his work was in the spotlight due to her intervention on election night in Andalusia, with a harsh speech without congratulating Juanma Moreno that surprised many, and her role in those elections.
The leader of the PSOE and President of the Government has reacted on Twitter to the departure of his “beloved” Adriana Lastra, whom he describes as an “exemplary socialist”. “Thanks to your commitment and dedication during all these years, the change in the PSOE and in Spain was possible”, wrote Pedro Sánchez, who advances that “we will continue working together”.
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