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World

Spain's Podemos elects new chief

  • But Belarra has the full blessing of Iglesias who decided to withdraw from politics following a crushing defeat by the right in the May 4 regional elections in Madrid.
13 Jun 2021

MADRID: Spain's Podemos takes a new direction Sunday with Ione Belarra set to take over as leader following Pablo Iglesias' departure, putting two women at the helm of the radical left-wing party.

Following a week-long vote, activists from Podemos, the junior partner in Spain's ruling coalition, will on Sunday afternoon announce the name of the party's new secretary-general at a party assembly in Alcorcon near Madrid.

Iglesias has said he won't attend the gathering in a gesture to show he no longer exerts any influence over the party he founded in 2014.

But Belarra has the full blessing of Iglesias who decided to withdraw from politics following a crushing defeat by the right in the May 4 regional elections in Madrid.

Running against two unknown candidates, Belarra -- who replaced Iglesias as social affairs minister -- is the overwhelming favourite, with the 33-year-old campaigning on a pledge to "strengthen Podemos" which has seen declining support in recent years.

But although she takes the helm, it will be Labour Minister Yolanda Diaz, 50, who will head the list for Podemos and its allies in the next general elections, due by January 2024.