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Podemos: the left-wing party that could be key to keeping Pedro Sánchez in power

Party leader Pablo Iglesias has come out in favor of a self-determination referendum in Catalonia and has called for the release of jailed Catalan leaders

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25 April 2019 08:36 PM

by

ACN | Barcelona

The left-wing Unidas Podemos party, which translates as “United We Can” in English, could end up playing a major role in deciding who gets to be the next Spanish president.

The polls suggest that support for the party is falling, but this could be down to the greater visibility the Socialists have enjoyed as Spain's ruling party over the past year.

Podemos could help PSOE maintain power

Ideologically aligned with the Socialists albeit more left-leaning than the ruling executive, the party is expected to help Pedro Sánchez to continue in the presidency, should there be an opportunity to form a coalition.

Making this even more likely will be the determination of the left to prevent the trio of right-wing parties - PP, Cs, and Vox - from forming a coalition government.

However, the price the Socialists may have to pay for the support of Podemos could be some positions in Pedro Sánchez's future cabinet.

Podemos founded from 'Indignados' movement

Only set up five years ago, Podemos was founded out of a feeling of disillusionment with the political climate of the time that was felt widely all over Spain, marked by corruption scandals and austerity policies.

Four months later, the party ran in European elections, winning almost 8% of the votes cast in the country, and they boosted their support by working to empower local communities.

The party's bottom-up approach proved popular with people in all levels of society, who also found its anti-corruption, environmental and social justice policies attractive.

Outside Catalonia, Podemos is the only mainstream party that is seriously questioning the role of the monarchy and the Spanish constitution as it stands.

Podemos is also the only Spanish-wide party that favors a referendum on self-determination in Catalonia, although it also wants more than two options for or against independence.

Party leader Pablo Iglesias wants Catalonia to continue as part of Spain, but says his party would respect the will of the 80% of Catalans - according to polls - who want a referendum.

Also where Catalonia is concerned, Podemos has called for the release of jailed Catalan leaders on trial in Spain's Supreme Court, and the return of those in exile.

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  • Pablo Iglesias, Unidas Podemos candidate in the Spanish elections, speaks at a campaign act (photo by Podemos)

  • Pablo Iglesias, Unidas Podemos candidate in the Spanish elections, speaks at a campaign act (photo by Podemos)