10 Jun, 2024 @ 16:14
1 min read

Spain’s Deputy PM Yolanda Diaz resigns as leader of left-wing Sumar after disappointing EU election results

Yolanda Díaz leader of the Sumar Party during the vote in the European Election 9J at the Ramiro de Maetzu in Madrid, June 9, 2024 Spain *** Local Caption *** 53805494

SPAIN’S Deputy Prime Minister Yolanda Diaz has resigned as leader of the far-left Sumar platform she founded in 2023 after a disappointing round of results in Sunday’s European elections.

Speaking at a press conference on Monday afternoon, Diaz, 53, said it was ‘necessary’ for her to take a step away from Sumar after the electoral alliance underwhelmed, winning just three seats and 4.7% of the vote share as Spain decided who would be the country’s 61 representatives during the next term of the European Parliament.

Sumar’s number of MEPs is the same as Se Acabó La Fiesta, a new alt-right anti-establishment party, and just one more than arch left-wing rivals Podemos.

The results represent a crushing blow for a party who won over 12% of the vote in last year’s general election and entered government thanks to a coalition agreement with the PSOE socialist party of Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez.

Despite her resignation, Diaz, who is a member of the Communist Party of Spain, confirmed she would remain in her government post of Minister of Labour and Social Economy and one of three Deputy Prime Ministers, a role she has held since 2021.

READ MORE: Spain to reduce working hours after socialist parties PSOE and Sumar agree to form a government – but they’ll need to win the all-important investiture vote first

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Sumar support Pedro Sanchez’s government in coalition. Credit: Cordon Press

Diaz said: “The citizens have spoken and I am going to take responsibility. It is necessary to have a debate within Sumar and with this decision I am paving the way for that debate”.

She added: “These last elections have acted as a mirror. People don’t make mistakes when they vote – and neither do they make mistakes if they decide not to vote. That’s always our responsibility and, without a doubt, in this case, that’s my responsibility”.

Prior to entering government, Diaz was a member of the Galician Parliament and the national coordinator of Esquerda Unida, a coalition of left-wing Galician parties, from 2005 to 2017.

Earlier this year, she received criticism from Israel Katz, the combative Israeli foreign minister, after describing military action in Gaza as a ‘real genocide’.

Following the European election results, Katz tweeted that the Spanish electorate had ‘punished’ Diaz and PM Sanchez for ‘embracing Hamas murderers and rapists’.

Ben Pawlowski

Ben joined the Olive Press in January 2024 after a four-month stint teaching English in Paraguay. He loves the adrenaline rush of a breaking news story and the tireless work required to uncover an eye-opening exclusive. He is currently based in Barcelona from where he covers the city, the wider Catalunya region, and the north of Spain. Send tips to [email protected]

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