SPAIN’S Deputy Prime Minister and Labor Minister Yolanda Diaz has officially registered as a political party ahead of the snap general elections that will be held on July 23. Her objective is for the new group, which translates as ‘Unite’, to absorb parties from Spain’s splintered left wing as well as leftist groups from civil society. 

The move comes after the party with which she is currently affiliated, Unidas Podemos, suffered heavy losses at the local and regional elections on Sunday. The parties that make up the bloc went from 49 seats in the 12 regions up for grabs on Sunday to just 18, disappearing completely from Valencia, the Canary Islands, Madrid, Cantabria and Castilla-La Mancha. 

The Socialist Party, which governs nationally in coalition with Unidas Podemos, also performed poorly at the 12 regional and more than 8,000 local elections, prompting Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez to make the surprise announcement of an early general election. 

Sources from the new platform told news agency Europa Press that the party was registered today, Tuesday, at the Interior Ministry, and that all of the parties with which Diaz has been negotiating for inclusion in the platform have also been informed of the move. 

According to electoral timetables, Sumar will now have 10 days to negotiate deals with leftist parties and other groups for their inclusion in the platform. These negotiations were due to take place after the dust settled from the local and regional polls on Sunday, but will have to be held at breakneck speed after the general election was called. 

The United Left party (Izquierda Unida), which is part of the Unidas Podemos bloc, announced today that it will be joining Sumar, along with the environmental parties Verdes Equo and Alianza Verde. 

But it is still unclear what Podemos will do. The far-left party, which was founded in 2014, has considered Diaz’s actions to be treacherous. But the group’s poor showing at the elections, influenced by a series of botched national laws such as the sexual consent law, may end up forcing their hand to run alongside Sumar.

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