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POLITICS

Socialists and IU striving for political deal to form Andalusian administration

Leftist grouping must decide if it wishes to join coalition or make voting pact in regional parliament

Manuel Planelles

The Socialist Party and the United Left (IU) are said to be close to hammering out a pact to keep the Popular Party (PP) from governing in Andalusia, sources say.

But it is still unknown what type of agreement the two leftist organizations could forge. The two sides have been formally discussing their options since April 3.

It is also unknown whether the IU will actually support the swearing in of incumbent Socialist regional premier José Antonio Griñán. The discussions are being kept secret.

"There will be some logical advances this week," said Diego Valderas, the IU coordinator in Andalusia.

On April 19 lawmakers in the regional parliament will meet to draw up sides and committees, including the election of a speaker who will most probably be from the IU coalition grouping.

"I have always supported the idea that the speaker of parliament should come from a different party than that of the regional premier," said Valderas.

The PP actually won the March 25 race with 50 seats, five short of an absolute majority in the 109-member chamber. The Socialists, which have ruled the region for 30 years, took 47 seats with the IU grabbing 12.

IU leaders have begun to ask their members for their opinions concerning a partnership with the Socialists. One of the big decisions will be the choice between entering a coalition government or simply supporting the Socialists in the regional parliament.

However, one influential member of the IU, Juan Manuel Sánchez Gordillo, president of the United Workers Confederation (CUT), has come out against a pact with the Socialists.

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