Wednesday

12th May 2021

Podemos party co-founder resigns

  • Monedero said the party is losing its radical identity (Photo: Imagen en Accion)

Juan-Carlos Monedero, one of the founders of Spain’s Podemos protest party, resigned on Thursday (30 April) over differences on strategy and policies ahead of next Autumn's general election.

"I presented my resignation to my friend Pablo. My friendship for someone so important and my commitment with Podemos remain firm," Monedero wrote on his Twitter account, referring to Podemos leader Pablo Iglesias.

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A few hours earlier he had expressed his disappointment on Spanish politics and the more moderate orientation of Podemos.

"Podemos must stop looking at itself in mirrors which don't belong to it," he said in an interview with the Radiocable station.

"We have to give more attention to where we come from. More attention to our origins than to where we want to go. Podemos must not pretend that we are the good guys, that we are clean, and that we're not going to give problems to power, because the contrary is true," he added.

The party was founded in 2014 by Iglesias to help organise the Indignados protest movement, which arose between 2011 and 2012.

Monedero, a political analyst and sociologist, was a signatory of the manifesto on which Podemos was founded.

He was also at the center of a controversy in February when he had to defend himself over a €425,000 payment he received from the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America (Alba).

Alba, which brings together 11 countries, was founded by former Venezuelan and Cuban presidents Hugo Chavez and Fidel Castro and was suspected of illegally funding Podemos.

Monedero said the money was paid only to fund a Podemos TV programme on the Internet.

For his part, Iglesias acknowledged that Monedero’s resignation was triggered by a debate over the party’s strategy for the next elections but downplayed tensions.

"Monedero’s critical sting is essential for me and for us as a political formation. We need this sting and Juan Carlos flying with much freedom to do what is best and put the finger on the wound," he said.

Founded as a protest party with a left-wing platform, Podemos is now on par with Spain’s historical governing parties, the Socialist PSOE and the prime minister Mariano Rajoy’s conservative People’s party, in terms of popularity.

Polls regularly give Podemos 20 percent or more share of voting intentions. In last year’s European election it got 8 percent.

But Podemos is also competing against another newcomer, the center-right Ciudadanos party.

In the last months, Iglesias restructured his faction to make it more hierarchical. While remaining an anti-austerity party, Podemos has also tried to move closer to the centre in political terms, to soften its image.

The two developments alienated the libertarian and radical components, which were a leading force in the Indignados movement.

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