MARCH 2015 ELECTION RESULT - 15% = 15 SEATS
Podemos (which translate as ‘We Can') is the left-wing political party which was founded in 2014 by Pablo Iglesias, formerly a lecturer of political science at the Computense University of Madrid and currently a MEP. Podemos originated out of the 2011 and 2012 Spanish protest movement against inequality and corruption called ‘Indignados' or 15M from the initial demonstrations on 15 May 2011 which were initiated on social networks under the digital platform "Democracia Real Ya" (real democracy now).
The demonstrations developed into sit-ins and camps in squares in many Spanish cities that were periodically broken up by police. The party was officially presented in the Teatro de Barrio in the Lavapies district of Madrid on 16 January 2014, and entered candidates in the 25 May European elections. In a surprise result Podemos polled 8% of the vote and won five MEP seats. The first national conference was held in June 2014. The party will not present in the local elections in March 2015 but is very active in the Andalucia elections, as it seen this as a step towards the Spanish national elections in 2015.
Teresa Rodriguez (34), a Spanish language and literature teacher from Rota (Cadiz), was among the founding leaders of Podemos and was elected number two on the list to become a MEP following the 2014 elections. She stood down as an MEP on 5 March 2015 and was replaced by Miguel Urban Crespo. Like the other leaders she donated her 8000€ per month salary, except a teachers wage of 1,930€, to the party, Sindicato Andaluz de Trabadores and the ex-employees of former ship-building company Delphi among other causes. Teresa won the primary elections on 8 February 2015 to be Podemos' presidential candidate for the Junta de Andalucia with 80% of the vote from 15,000 party members (28% of 55,000 Andalucia party members)
In the Podemos meeting in Plaza de la Merced, Malaga on 14 March, the plaza was full but not overflowing, with enthusiasm and energy in the air. The crowd was mainly young, but not entirely. All the speakers were excellent and made rousing commentaries. First the number one on the list for Malaga, Felix Gil Sánchez, then Carlos Jiminez Villarejo, ex anti-corruption fiscal who launched a fierce attack on the ex-presidents of the PSOE. Pablo Iglesias, by now a seasoned speaker and crowd-raiser, kept reminding the crowd that Podemos was the party of the ‘gente' (people). Jose Antonio Vargas - Secretary General de Malaga -introduced himself and his plans Plaza de la Merced was a fitting venue for Podemos all under and around the obelisk monument to the martyrs of 1831 which was referred to several times. Other martyrs mentioned were Manuel José García Caparrós and Cayetano Bolívar.
There was little detail about policies with respect to Andalucia except the need for change. Teresa Rodriguez was the final speaker and by then several people had fainted under the heat of the midday Andalucian sun. She lamented that the young of Andalucia have been forced to emigrate. At the end Pablo left quickly in a police-escorted van and Teresa wandered in the street with a large crowd around her.
On the Podemos website is their Electoral program including hundreds of detailed proposals and the results of the members voting of the priorities. There is also a document of 30 proposals for change in Andalucia including ‘Urgent Measures for Andalucia': 1) Emergency measures for citizens, priority to social cost and the rescue of families. 2) Open doors and windows. Audit of the accounts of the Junta de Andalucia, reinforce the Courts and Camara de Cuentas de Andalucia. 3) Emergency procedures so that there are no more evictions in Andalucia nor cut off water or electricity supplies. 4) Certificate of Civil responsibility; impede that the Junta de Andalucia does not contract with companies that do not respect labour rights or impose precarious conditions. Podemos is the only party not to call for a reform (ie reduce tax) of the Andalucia inheritance laws.
Link to election program (manifesto)
Election Slogan El Cambio Empezar en Andalucia
Facebook Podemos Andalucia