THE LEADERSHIP race for the PSOE has swung into action.
Patxi Lopez is the first to announce his intention to stand in the contest for the secretary general post.
If elected, the ex Socialist-affiliated Party of Euskadi president has promised a ‘return to the basics of socialism’ and a hard line against Mariano Rajoy’s Partido Popular government.
Lopez could be a potentially popular choice for party members against the two other likely candidates.
These are Andalucia Junta head Susana Diaz and ex-PSOE leader Pedro Sanchez.
All candidates must announce their intention to stand by the end of March, so that a primary election can take place in May.
The victor will be then formally decided on June 17 and 18, when the Socialists hold their annual congress.
Sanchez resigned from the head role on October 1, triggering the need to find a new leader.