Sumar (electoral platform)

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Unite
Sumar
AbbreviationSMR
LeaderYolanda Díaz
Founded28 March 2022 (as an association)
9 June 2023 (as an electoral coalition)
Preceded byUnidas Podemos
Más País
IdeologyDemocratic socialism[1]
Green politics[1]
Direct democracy[1]
Political positionLeft-wing[7] to far-left[13]
MembersSee composition
Congress of Deputies
27 / 350
Senate
3 / 266
European Parliament
3 / 59
Election symbol
Website
www.sumarfuturo.info (association)
www.movimientosumar.es (political party)

Sumar (English: "Unite", "Add up" or "Sum")[14][15][16][17] is a left-wing[20] to far-left[26] electoral platform—constituted as an instrumental political party—for the 2023 Spanish general election, led by Spanish second deputy prime minister and labour minister Yolanda Díaz. The platform was provisionally registered as an association on 28 March 2022 and publicly unveiled on 18 May. After a series of nationwide public events from July 2022 to 25 March 2023, the platform presented its manifesto and officially announced Díaz's candidacy for the election on 2 April.[27] On 30 May, after a snap general election was called, the platform registered as a political party under the name Movimiento Sumar ("Unite Movement" in English, SMR) in order to form coalitions with other leftist parties.[28][29]

History[edit]

Background[edit]

As a result of Pablo Iglesias's departure from active politics in May 2021, Labour minister—and, from July 2021, second deputy prime ministerYolanda Díaz, came to be widely regarded as Iglesias's presumptive successor as prime ministerial candidate in the next general election.[30][31] Díaz expressed her will to shape a new electoral platform transcending political parties, as well as the Unidas Podemos brand,[32][33] aiming to secure the support of ideologically close forces such as En Comú Podem (ECP), Compromís and Más Madrid/Más País while giving a prevalent role to civil society.[34][35][36]

The platform was drafted during an event held on 13 November 2021, with the participation of a number of female representatives of the various political spaces that could eventually join it: Díaz herself, Barcelona mayor Ada Colau (BComú), Valencian vice president Mónica Oltra (Compromís), Madrilenian opposition leader Mónica García (Más Madrid) and Ceutan councillor Fatima Hamed (from the Movement for Dignity and Citizenship, MDyC); the absence of Podemos members at the event, most notably of Equality and Social Rights ministers Irene Montero and Ione Belarra, was seen as evidence of the growing diminished role of Unidas Podemos within the platform.[37] The Díaz-led incoming left-wing alliance was also welcomed by incumbent prime minister Pedro Sánchez, who saw it as important for the "progressive space" to be in "top shape" in order for his government to be able to maintain and expand its majority in the next election.[38] While the term "Broad Front" has been frequently used in the media to refer to Díaz's platform,[39][40] it has been commented that Díaz herself has rejected the use of this name for its connections with similar brandings used by left-wing populist alliances in Latin America.[41]

After its postponement as a result of the international crisis sparked by the 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine, it was announced on 18 May 2022 that Díaz's platform would go under the provisional name "Sumar" (English: Unite),[42][43] with its formal launch being scheduled for after the 2022 Andalusian regional election.[44] Díaz herself has asserted that, while she feels comfortable with the "Sumar" concept, it may not be her platform's definitive name, depending on administrative and bureaucratic processes.[45] On 24 May, the platform's name and logo were registered at the Spanish Patent and Trademark Office.[46]

Official launch, rallies, policy teams[edit]

On 1 July 2022, the social media accounts of both Yolanda Díaz and Sumar published promotional videos for the platform's launch event, as part of a broader 'consultation process' (proceso de escucha) starting on 8 July 2022 in the Matadero Madrid arts centre. The Sumar brand and logo were officially introduced in that event as well.[47][48] The event had an audience of over 5,000 people, with the attendance of relevant figures in the Spanish cultural landscape such as James Rhodes, Elvira Sastre or Belén Gopegui.[49]

At the same time, a series of work teams were assembled in order to prepare the platform's policy positions in the form of a long-term national strategy. These were introduced on 23 September 2022, including experts and public figures such as César Rendueles, Ignacio Sánchez-Cuenca or Yayo Herrero.[50]

After the first rally, similar events followed in Lugo,[51] Bilbao,[52] Gijón,[53] Sabadell[54] and Mérida,[55] and in November 2022, the platform was introduced to audiences in Pamplona,[56] Logroño[57] and Valencia.[58] The nationwide encounters of Díaz with the public continued in A Coruña,[59] Zaragoza,[60] Tarragona, Barcelona,[61] Palma de Mallorca,[62] Valladolid,[63] Albacete[64] and Murcia.[65] The last rallies took place in March 2023 in Santander,[66] Seville[67] and Las Palmas.[68] The final event of the consultation process, which also served as Díaz's official presentation of her bid for the 2023 elections, took place in Madrid on 2 April.[27] Among the main parties present in the event were United Left (IU), Más Madrid, Compromís and Catalunya en Comú, but it was noted the notable absence of Podemos due to divergences with Díaz over the process to elect the platform's candidates.[69]

At the start of June 2023, former MP Pablo Bustinduy, identified with Podemos, and MEP Ernest Urtasun, identified with En Comú Podem, were announced as part of the Sumar campaign.[70]

Agreements[edit]

Following the early election call for 23 July 2023, the various allied parties of Sumar announced their agreements for joining Díaz's electoral alliance: Green Alliance,[71] Drago Canaries Party,[72] Chunta Aragonesista,[73] Andalusian People's Initiative,[74] Batzarre,[75] with negotiations ongoing with Compromís,[76][77] Greens Equo,[78][79] United Left,[80][81] Más Madrid,[82][83] and Catalunya en Comú,[84] as well as the support of other minor parties such as Sí Se Puede and Ganemos Jerez.[85][86][87] The Movement for Dignity and Citizenship (MDyC) chose on 8 June not to join Sumar and opted out of the election.[88] The incorporation of Podemos remained a point of friction in the negotiations,[89][90][91] with the presence of Equality Minister Irene Montero and Podemos' representation in Sumar's lists being the main focus of divergence.[92] In the end, following a troubling negotiation process, Podemos joined the alliance four hours ahead of the deadline to register it.[93]

On 5 December 2023, Podemos broke with Sumar, and announced that their five MPs would be sitting in the Mixed Group,[94] reducing Sumar's total MPs to 26.

Ideology[edit]

Sumar is described as left-wing[97] to far-left.[99] It is also described as progressive, supportive of climate action and pro-Europeanist,[100][101] despite repeatedly clashing with the European Central Bank and other European fiscal institutions on economic matters, to the point that Díaz questioned the ECB during a speech in the United Nations General Assembly.[102] On the other hand Sumar does not mention NATO in its electoral program, but some of its members question increases in military spending to meet NATO commitments and have stated they prefer to negotiate peace in Ukraine rather than send military aid.[103] Just before the 2023 Spanish general election, Sumar MEPs voted against two resolutions concerning political situations in Cuba[104] and Venezuela.[105]

Composition[edit]

The table below lists parties that have joined the Sumar platform:[106][107][108]

Party Scope
Unite Movement (SMR) Nationwide
Greens Equo (VQ)
Green Alliance (AV)
United Left (IU)
Communist Party of Spain (PCE)
The Dawn. Marxist Organization OM (La Aurora (om))
Republican Left (IR)
Unitarian Candidacy of Workers (CUT) Andalusia
Initiative for El Hierro (IpH) El Hierro
Más Madrid (MM) Community of Madrid
Commitment Coalition (Compromís) Valencian Community
Més–Compromís (Més)
Valencian People's Initiative (IdPV)
Catalonia In Common (CatComú) Catalonia
Barcelona in Common (BComú)
Green Left (EV)
More for Mallorca (Més) Balearic Islands
More for Menorca (MxMe)
Aragonese Union (CHA) Aragon
Drago Project (DRG) Canary Islands
Asturian Left (IAS) Asturias
Assembly (Batzarre) Navarre
Andalusian People's Initiative (IdPA) Andalusia
Confluences
In Common We Can (ECP) Catalonia

Former members[edit]

Party Tenure
Podemos 9 June 2023 – 5 December 2023

Electoral performance[edit]

Cortes Generales[edit]

Cortes Generales
Election Leading candidate Congress Senate Government
Votes % Seats +/– Seats +/–
2023 Yolanda Díaz 3,044,996 12.33 (#4)
31 / 350
7
[a]
0 / 208
0
[a]
Coalition

Parliament of Galicia[edit]

Parliament of Galicia
Election Leading candidate Votes % Seats +/– Government
2024 Marta Lois 28,171 1.90 (#5)
0 / 75
n/a No seats

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b Compared to the combined totals of Unidas Podemos and Más País in the November 2019 Spanish general election.

References[edit]

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