Rubalcaba wants PSOE primaries debate this summer

Socialist leader has backing of national party chiefs to change group's rules

Socialist leader Alfredo Pérez Rubalcaba has decided to bring forward the debate on introducing primaries to allow party members to elect their secretary-general. This rule change should only be made at a party congress, but with the next such event three years away, the national leadership has said it wants to tackle the issue this summer during the national committee meeting that precedes this fall's policy conference.

National party chiefs said they would back the changing of the rules to allow Socialist Party (PSOE) members to directly elect their leaders. Any amendment would not, however, affect the procedure for choosing a prime ministerial candidate.

The announcement, made by party secretary Óscar López on Thursday, comes in the wake of the recent row caused by plans by the Galician branch of the party (PSdeG) to elect its own leader through primaries this June, in defiance of the central party line.

PSdeG leader Pachi Vázquez expressed satisfaction at the national leadership's proposal to change the statutes, but said he would not wait for the amendment before going ahead with the planned regional primaries.

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