Rubalcaba calls for unity among party federations

New Socialist leader wants regional chapters to come together as one voice

Fresh from winning his party's leadership post this weekend, Alfredo Pérez Rubalcaba on Monday ordered the Socialist federations in the 17 regions to avoid publicly airing any differences and for members to back all decisions at the local level.

Officials of the top level leadership of the Socialists "represent the entire party" and not just one faction, Rubalcaba told the party's executive meeting, where he made his new appointments as secretary general.The message comes as Rubalcaba and the rest of his supporters try to heal the wounds from the bitter internal campaign between his camp and that of his rival, Carme Chacón, who lost Saturday's election by 22 votes.

With this message, according to sources, Rubalcaba wants to make it clear that the Socialist party chapters, such as those in Catalonia, the Basque Country and Valencia, must come together as one voice representing the national party.

Among the appointments Rubalcaba made to the national executive committee were Elena Valenciano, who will now become deputy secretary general.Soraya Rodríguez and Eduardo Madina will become the party's parliamentary spokespersons in Congress and the Senate respectively.

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