Second Vice-President of the Government of Spain and Minister for Work and Social Economy, Yolanda Diaz took an electoral beating. EPA-EFE/Mariscal

News Vote 24

Spain: Sumar leader steps down after EU election failure


Yolanda Díaz, Spain’s Minister for Labour and Social Economy, is stepping down as leader of the Left-wing electoral alliance Sumar after the group’s poor performance during the European elections.

Díaz, one of the Sumar’s founders, took the decision despite having been elected as its general co-ordinator just a few months ago.

“I feel like I haven’t done the things I was supposed to do and the things I know how to do best. The citizens have perceived it,” she said on June 10.

The politician added that “many people” had been telling her that she had not been performing at the level she should be, something that she now wants to take “responsibility” for.

“We have to be there to solve the problems of the people, not the problems of the parties or politicians,” she said.

“The last elections have served as a mirror, citizens do not make mistakes when they vote or when they do not go to vote.”

Díaz said she would now focus on her tasks within the government as a minister.

Sumar is a grouping of around two dozen Left and hard-left parties, which provided an alternative within the Spanish electoral system rather than each party participating separately.

Still, on June 9, Sumar only secured three seats in the European Parliament. Izquierda Unida, Díaz’s main partner in the group, will have no representatives in Brussels.

Ahead of the EP elections, there already were some problems, with parties squabbling over who should have what spot on the list.

Results appear to show that Díaz made some bad choices. Despite being a government party leading five ministries, Sumar scored less than 5 per cent in the European elections.

In reaction to the election results in Spain, Israel Katz, the Israeli foreign minister, took to social media to express his feelings about the Spanish left-wing government, saying it had been “punished” by the Spanish people.