SUSANA DIAZ is being encouraged to challenge embattled PSOE leader Pedro Sanchez.
Party sources say she is already leading 17 rebel executives who resigned earlier this week in a bid to unseat Sanchez and avoid a third election that the party has almost no chance of winning.
The 41-year-old plumber’s daughter would be the first woman to lead the party since it was founded 137 years ago and the first woman to lead any major political party in Spain.
Her supporters say she is more pragmatic than Sanchez and already has a track record of reaching cross-party compromises having been chief of Andalucia – Spain’s most populous autonomous community – for the past eight years.
While many powerful party figures support Diaz, most of the grassroots members are said to be supporting Sanchez, making a successful bid difficult to achieve.
In a speech on Thursday, Diaz said the time had come to heal the wounds of the party but she was careful to not declare her intentions.
“I’ll be where the grassroots put me, at the the top or at the bottom,” she said.