Pablo Iglesias, leader of Unidas Podemos, has decided to quit his post in central government (he is officially second vice president) and stand in the Madrid elections with the aim of stopping the extreme Right.
Iglesias’s decision has bemused many and changed people’s assessments of UP, pushing the party up to fight for third position in the elections – which is enough to make the Right nervous. Nevertheless, some people think that his decision only underlines the lack of internal democracy in Unidas Podemos, a criticism levelled at the group for some years.
Right-wing influence in Madrid
According to Juan Carlos Monedero, one of the founders of Unidas Podemos, Iglesias’s response reflects the absolute “necessity” of “not arriving too late” when it comes to the threat of a far-Right coalition, which would give the far Right the “ability to change things from Madrid”.
Certainly, the Right has the most to gain. Monedero told me that the Right and the extreme Right have huge influence in Madrid: “They have universities and colleges, since the private predominates over the public. Also, they have solid support from the audiovisual media and from all the newspapers except El País.”