“There was an agreement in the Political Commission today, after a proposal that I have formulated accepting the call that President Boric made to us today regarding the unity of the progressive forces,” said the president of the Socialist Party, Paulina Vodanovic, later of a day full of negotiations that, supposedly, would determine whether the PS would join the Approve Dignity list or the Democratic Socialism list. Around 10:00 p.m., none of these decisions were apparently made, but rather the Socialists decided not to consider the single list as a failure and opened space for the PPD and the PR to join the official list. In case of not doing so, the parties of the former Concertación run the risk of going on a list without the PS
The Political Committee of the Socialist Party, a decisive instance for the party to make a decision on which list will be registered for the election of Constitutional Councillors, decided to give space to negotiate, at least until February 6, the day on that the lists have to be registered. Vodanovic reaffirmed the commitment to the President, after a telephone call, and bet, after the partisan meeting, to insist: “We firmly believe, and as our Central Committee said last Saturday, to build the maximum unity of the progressive forces , because we need that unity to have the best representation in the Constitutional Council”
The day revolved around the house of the Socialist Party in Paris 873. There were attempts to play down the election while lunches, phone calls and WhatsApp messages passed from one side to the other to line up and measure the possible scenarios. As the hours passed, it was seen that the vote, which was apparently going to be close, would not really be so. Once the conclave was over, with a clarity that the PS would enlist together with Approve Dignity, the PS decided not to close its registration with Approve Dignity, rather, it opened the space and gave the parties of Democratic Socialism time to redeem themselves from their decision to submit a separate list. Now, with zero chances of a socialist endorsement.
a trading day
Yesterday, in the columns of the Socialist Party press room, the president of the party, Paulina Vodanovic, tried to play down the issue of the single list or separate lists: “Going on one list or another is a decision of the electoral pact, not It has nothing to do with defining the destiny of the party or with the position that we have in the political spectrum, nor does it have anything to do with supporting the government”. In addition, she added that, regardless of the result, in the PS “there is only one vision and it is one of support for the new constitution, support and loyalty to the government and support and loyalty to the social transformations that Chile has.”
Although the president showed a framework of action open to what the political committee decided, it was known that Vodanovic was always for the single list and, secondly, to align himself with the list of Democratic Socialism. On the other hand, it was the secretary general of the PS, Camilo Escalona, who advocated aligning himself with the Approve Dignity list in the event that the unitary list of the ruling party failed, which would also have caused tensions within the party.
The president also referred to this supposed impasse with Escalona and clarified that what was issued by the press “is not like that.” The PS leader made it clear that “I have the Party’s spokesperson, according to the statutes” and clarified that the relationship with Escalona is “fine” and that “I don’t know how a conversation of one table meeting”.
Once the political committee ended, the spirits that sought to downplay this decision pointed in the opposite direction on the part of the party president herself. She stressed that this year was not “an ordinary year” for the PS. They celebrate 90 years as a political party, 50 years ago was the Military Coup together with the death of former President Salvador Allende: “He died in La Moneda defending the Constitution of 1925 and it is the duty of this party to honor him trying to achieve the maximum unity of the progressive forces to have a Constitution that enshrines those social rights for which we socialists have fought”.
Sources within the party warn that the President’s call had an effect and, consequently, the PS ended up supporting the Government. Vodanovic revealed that President Boric’s call addressed the importance of facing this election with unity: “It is not just any election, we are risking the importance of being able to have a Constitution written in democracy, which means for the progressive world, the incorporation of a social and democratic State of rights. The right claims to agree, but it is false. Social rights should not be handed over to the market and that is the big difference, that is why unity is important, ”Vodanovic said at the reception of his political address.
Before the political committee, Vodanovic left the vicinity of his party and went to a lunch that, until then, was known to be with Leonardo Cubillos, president of the Radical Party. At about 3:50 p.m., the PPD president, Natalia Piergentili, uploaded a photo on Twitter of herself in which she revealed that the lunch was extended. “Having lunch with the friends presidents of democratic socialism,” she said at the bottom of the post. In addition, of the three already named, the president of the Liberal Party, Patricio Morales, appears.
Three of the presidents arrived together by car at the corner of Paris and London. Cubillos got out of the car and quickly entered his party building. Morales did the same. Vodanovic, on the other hand, did not get off and continued on his way. Socialist voices reveal that he went to continue talks.
Not much could be known about this lunch. What could be revealed is that there were two positions that are already known. The PS and the PL trying to open the possibility of a single list and, on the other hand, the PPD and the PR in separate lists. All this was subject to the determination that the PS would take later in its Political Committee. Sources revealed that there was nothing concrete at said lunch, but there was a commitment from the president of the PPD and the PR that they would communicate the intention of the PS. Either a single list with all of the ruling party, or a list with I Approve Dignity without the participation of the PPD and the PR.
As the hour approached, around 7:00 p.m., representatives of the PS arrived at their headquarters and gave the same speech, in which they implicitly spoke to another, to “those.” The first was Senator Alfonso de Urresti, who declared what was resolved by his conglomerate Grandes Alamedas: “The call is the most unrestricted for unity, first loyalty to the Government, we are part of it and we are going to support it and we are going to take the better decision for him to move forward and we can have a good result”. From Urresti, he added: “We are going to go on a unitary list, where those who have fought for unity” are, that is, not for those who have separated the ruling party.
Later, also on the outskirts of the socialist building, the Deputy and president of the Socialist Youth, Juan Santana, joined the statements of his co-religionist: “The PS has a deep commitment to the government of President Gabriel Boric, and therefore Therefore, we are going to accept that call, there are many of us who are fighting, until the last minute, so that there is a list of unity”. Santana made a call to the parties that have historically been on his side, “we are waiting for the partner parties of Democratic Socialism to issue a last judgment regarding the possibility of coming together on the same list.”
Close to the party table beginning its previous meeting, Álvaro Erazo arrived, who was Minister of Health in the first government of Michelle Bachelet. Erazo went so far as to say that he “hoped that the PS would take a step forward towards the unity of the left forces, from the DC to the PC.” He predicted, like his colleagues, what would happen later in the Political Committee: “President Boric requires political forces committed to change, but also delivering signs of unity to Chilean society, that is why we are here, to reiterate our unitary vocation ”.
Until that time, it was heard that the 27 votes of the committee were leaning with a difference of 4 votes towards I Approve Dignity. Hours later, that information became increasingly evident. It wasn’t until around 9:30 p.m. that they confirmed that they would not vote to decide if they would enlist with Approve Dignity or with Democratic Socialism. Rather, knowing that there was majority support for the collation closest to the Government, they would wait for the reactions of the other Democratic Socialism parties to give their last decision.
The PS postponed its vote, with a deadline of February 6, as a way of buying time to continue with the intense negotiations in order to add the PPD and the PR to a single list. If this last attempt fails, the party’s decision would be to join AD and thus not weaken the Government. The parties of the former Concertación now find themselves in a box, because if they go without the PS on their lists, the possibility of electoral performance decreases considerably and, furthermore, the factor of Bachelet participating as leader of this single list is still alive, to a call from President Boric and a call from Vodanovic.