The PSOE lists for the general elections on July 23 will draw some substantial changes in the socialist bench. With a massive presence of ministers in positions of departure, Ferraz has opened the seats of Congress to the reception of a good part of the territorial organic charges that lost their institutional power on 28M. In contrast, a bunch of young deputies will be affected, who in some cases have played an important role in the parliamentary activity of the legislature.
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One of the most symbolic cases is, surely, that of the socialist spokesperson in Congress on equality, Laura Berja. The deputy for Jaén, who has confirmed the socialist tandem in terms of feminist policies together with the party’s Equality Secretary, Andrea Fernández, has been the speaker of her group in most of the emblematic projects of that department.
Recognized as a “revelation deputy” by the Association of Parliamentary Journalists in the last edition of the awards, Berja defended from the rostrum the abolition of prostitution, the law against harassment in clinics of women who decide to terminate their pregnancy, the decree during the pandemic for the protection of victims of gender violence and even the reform of the abortion law itself, whose defense cost him the insult of the Vox bench, an episode that came to paralyze the plenary session for a few minutes.
The exclusion of the general lists of Laura Berja joins that of the president of the parliamentary commission against gender violence, Beatriz Micaela Carrillo (deputy for Seville), to the assignment of a position that does not guarantee a seat for the secretary of Equality of Ferraz, Andrea Fernández (she will repeat as number 2 for León behind the provincial secretary), and to the safeguarding of her place in Congress for Carmen Calvo (rescued as number one by Granada after Luis Planas took her place in Córdoba). Something that is perceived in some sectors of the party as a clear message to those who have championed the feminist policies of the organization in the last four years. A conclusion that, however, is flatly rejected by the party leadership.
“We have respected the proposal of the territories,” say management sources, where they attribute the vast majority of the changes to the explicit decision of each of the federations, which will be ratified by the List Commission this Friday with few exceptions. In Ferraz they explain that there are specific cases that obey the very organic tensions of very specific federations.
The clearest case is that of the Jaén circumscription. In 2019 the list there was headed by Felipe Sicilia as number one, who became the party’s national spokesperson from October 2021 to July 2022, and the aforementioned Laura Berja as number two. Neither of them repeats this time and they have been replaced by Juan Francisco Serrano and Ana Cobo, respectively.
Both Sicilia and Berja are considered politicians close to the former deputy general secretary and former parliamentary spokesperson Adriana Lastra, who will attend Congress as number one for Asturias at the express wish of the Principality’s president and socialist leader, Adrián Barbón. From that core of confidence in Lastra, names like Omar Anguita, one of the youngest deputies in Congress at only 32 years old, also fall off the lists. Ignacio Urquizu, the until now mayor of Alcañiz, is also excluded from the candidacies, despite the opinion of the Teruel management.
In the party they ignore any global political reading in a conformation of the lists that, however, sends a clear message: Pedro Sánchez culminates his rapprochement with all the party apparatuses from which he was so far away for so long, a movement that to a large extent, it is due to the need to maintain internal peace in the PSOE until 23J after the debacle of 28M.
In addition, a good part of the starting positions are reserved for all the socialist ministers, with the exception of Llop and the independents Calviño and Escrivá, in a clear intention to vindicate the work of the Government during the last four years.
Also on the lists are senior administration officials such as Óscar López, director of the president’s cabinet; the assistant director, Antonio Hernando; or the director of the Civil Guard, Mercedes González. All of them will have to resign from their functions to officially become candidates, as regulated by the Organic Law of the General Electoral Regime.