It has been many months -almost a year- of announcements, delays and winks. And of a millimetrically calculated strategy despite the doubts. But the day has come. Yolanda Díaz officially presents today the project with which she plans to surpass the mark of United We Can and boost the left again after seven years of decline at the polls and electoral demobilization.
The second vice president of the Government launches Sumar this Friday, the platform with which she begins a six-month listening phase before solving the real headache of her project: political alliances. To date, Díaz only has the explicit and unwavering support of the United Left and Ada Colau.
In Podemos there is no doubt that Díaz’s leadership “is the only way” for space, but there is uncertainty in the purple ranks about the weight that the party will have in the vice president’s plans. Díaz’s silence is tense in Podemos, which highlights that it is the “largest party” in the space that Díaz intends to regroup, to whom he asks for an “essential” role.
A role that, for now, will not have. Yolanda Díaz personally asked all the ministers of her branch and the rest of the leaders of the parties with whom she has connected in recent months -such as Íñigo Errejón- to refrain from attending Sumar’s presentation ceremony, this Friday, at the Matadero cultural venue, in Madrid. A gesture that has generated concern and that has forced the also Minister of Labor to clarify that the parties are invited to the event, but that the focus today will fall on civil society, with whom Yolanda Díaz will share the stage.
The only relevant leader who will attend today’s event will be Enrique Santiago
Precisely in recent days the relationship between Díaz and the purples has undergone a “retuning”, as alliance sources admit. Díaz’s refusal to support an increase in budget spending on defense has made the vice president the visible head of the left’s rejection of this measure and once again joined the hard core of United We Can in the coalition government after continuous unchecking between Díaz, Ione Belarra and Irene Montero. Now, that the three swim in the same political direction pleases Podemos for the moment in which it arrives and for the separation from the PSOE that the Minister of Labor has wanted to show a few hours after officially launching Sumar.
Thus, from Podemos it is ensured that a representative of the formation will participate in the act. Meanwhile, IU will have its state spokesperson, Sira Rego. The PCE, with its secretary general, Enrique Santiago, and Compromís -a sector which has distanced itself from the “illusion” generated by the project-, Más País and the commons will send a small delegation without leadership, as Díaz has claimed.
A requirement that everyone respects. “It is she who must set the times,” they say in Podemos about Díaz, who has encountered serious problems in recent weeks with the launch of Sumar.
In less than a month, Díaz has suffered the electoral stumble of the left in Andalusia and the political fall of Mónica Oltra. The first event delves into the real problem facing Yolanda Díaz: achieving a competitive brand at the polls after verifying that a new progressive alliance in Andalusia -For Andalusia, sponsored by her- suffered the last electoral disaster of the purple space. The average of polls places United We Can close to 10% of voting intentions and around 25 seats at the national level. In 2019, the purple ones achieved 12.8% of the votes and 35 parliamentarians. Before the general elections, the regional and municipal elections must be held, and although Sumar will not attend these elections, the appointment will act as a thermometer at the national level.
The other fact, the resignation of Mónica Oltra, complicates Díaz’s territorial scheme. The former vice president of the Generalitat was, together with Ada Colau, the two main pillars of the Labor Minister’s project, which needs regional support beyond Podemos, which has shown serious deficiencies in its territorial system: lack of implementation and militancy, electoral bleeding and internecine warfare.
Yolanda Díaz begins today to join the rest of the forces of the left, but without explicitly counting on them in the act of presenting her platform. Her project is not a party, nor is it Podemos, nor is she the candidate. Yet. So what is Sum?
Adding is a match?
No. Sumar is a platform. Through it, Díaz will get closer to citizens through a listening process before starting the phase of forming political alliances with which he will face the electoral race.
What is a ‘listening process’?
For six months from today, Díaz will tour Spain listening to citizens and social agents before shaping his political plan. The vice president seeks to mainstream the United We Can space and for civil society to have a prominent role, even above the political level.
So, Diaz is not going to be the new leader of Podemos?
No. Through Sumar, Díaz begins to surpass the mark of Podemos and even that of United We Can (the coalition formed by the purples with IU, Alianza Verde and the commons, among others). They will all have a place in the vice president’s plans, but her project goes beyond these acronyms and will go to the polls with another brand, which probably won’t be Sumar either.
Will Diaz be the candidate?
It will decide after the listening process. If so, it must be backed “democratically” by all the parties that make up the space.
What role will Podemos play in Sumar?
It is an unknown. Díaz has connected with forces such as Compromís or Más País, but clashes with Podemos have occurred in recent months. The purples emphasize that they are the “largest party in space” and ask to have an “essential” role.
Will Díaz go to the regional elections?
He has ruled it out. The objective is to attend the general elections at the end of 2023, although the vice president is willing to support left-wing regional alliances, as she did in Andalusia.
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