PSOE: Crisis, Monstrosity, and "Hybrid Warfare"


The political situation in Spain either tends towards events with rapid and sudden changes, or tends to stagnate and stink with the worst odors. In this vein are the events in Madrid at the national headquarters of the PSOE (Partido Socialista Obrero Español, Spanish Worker Socialist Party) framed. Let us put ourselves in context briefly. There have been two general elections (December 20th 2015 and June 26th 2016), in which no candidate of any party has managed to form a government. But the PSOE, in each of these last two elections, has had the worst results ever in the current political system since 1978. On the contrary, its direct political rival, PP (Partido Popular), has improved its results in the June elections as well as in  December.

The coalition between PP-Ciudadanos failed in its efforts to form a government. Pedro Sanchez, the leader of the PSOE, who flatly refused to give his abstention for such a coalition, will start to govern and political activity in Spain will be resumed after a break of eight months. The 'No' of Pedro Sanchez will lead to new elections or a pact necessarily with separatist parties, and many regional leaders in the PSOE have perceived the strong possibility that a third election at Christmas time would produce the third worst consecutive electoral results for the PSOE, and could lead to a wider majority of the PP and the PSOE to be surpassed by the leftist coalition ‘Unidos-Podemos’.

In this context, several regional leaders of PSOE have begun pushing for abstention in the investiture, and thus, in order to have a government, the legislative chambers will start work and the PSOE will take its place as the main opposition party.

The divergence between the leadership of the PSOE and regional leaders has expanded, leading up to the results of the past days, such as the resignation of 17 members of the federal executive of the PSOE, protests between the supporters and the opponents of 'absolutely no', and, finally, the resignation of Pedro Sanchez  himself. Currently, the PSOE is run by a provisional management committee which is expected to convene a federal committee to set positions and then perhaps a federal congress to vote for a new leader of the PSOE and possible presidential candidate for the government. Meanwhile, the vote of the militants remains in question. Pedro Sanchez has spoken many times about giving a voice to militants, but in the region of Madrid in 2015, they voted in primary elections for a candidate who Sanchez did not want and the same Sanchez removed him from office. The same person who spoke of giving voice to the militant wing of the PSOE thus cancelled such when the result was not to his liking.

But there is another grisly detail to point out. In the protests at the national headquarters of the PSOE in Madrid, numerous cases of diehard supporters of the 'no' to the absention have been founds who, besides insulting (calling them 'fascist') the supporters of the abstention or any person whom they thought was a supporter of such abstention, turned out to be not even members of the PSOE, but members of the different groups that make up the leftist coalition ‘Unidos-Podemos’. That is, demonstrators from other parties are posing as members of the PSOE to agitate the division of the PSOE.

Why are there such infiltrators? Some of them are asking Pedro Sanchez to begin to negotiate an ‘alternative’ government with leftist parties and other separatist parties.

Thus we have a PSOE  divided between supporters of the abstention and being in opposition to a government without an absolute majority of Mariano Rajoy (PP), and supporters of the ‘absolutely no’ who could lead to a third election unless the next leader PSOE manages to form a government with ‘Unidos-Podemos’ and other separatist parties, to which is opposed a part of the PSOE that does not want to negotiate anything with separatist parties. And, in between, there appear 'activists' for the 'absolutely no' who are not even from the PSOE, but were demonstrating outside the headquarters of the PSOE and insulting those who think differently from them.

In this situation of division, now it must be decided within the PSOE who will be the next leader of the party and what position to take during October with respect to abstaining from a government of Mariano Rajoy (PP), or seek and get a majority alternative between PSOE-Unidos-Podemos and other separatist parties, which would leave the PSOE in such a coalition as the main force but with very little difference from ‘Unidos-Podemos’. As for PP, it seems that they expect the PSOE to abstain, or hold a third general election in which they forsee an increase in their seats.