The PSPV decided in the last breath last week to postpone its executive (scheduled for this Monday) with the intention of giving time to the different families, currents and possible candidates to reach an agreement that allows a unity congress – of a single candidacy – that avoids confrontation between the militancy. Both the current secretary general of the second federation of the PSOE, Ximo Puig, and the secretary of federal Organization, Santos Cerdán, have warned in recent weeks of the danger of repeating the mistakes of the past.

Despite this, the negotiation does not break ground, and the minister and great favorite, Diana Morant, does not take the step; the provincial secretary of Valencia, Carlos Fernández Bielsa, remains silent; and the socialists give themselves one more week of margin with the idea of ​​reaching an agreement that makes possible an express conclave that renews the leadership of the PSPV without interfering in the Galician elections (February 18) or mixing with the celebration of the Magdalena (2-10 March) or the Fallas (which end on March 19). “The deadlines can be adjusted,” they explain from the PSPV, although this requires a minimum agreement between the parties.

And since they lost the regional elections in 1995, the socialists have only enjoyed two conclaves with a single candidate. In 1997, in ’99, in 2000, in 2008, in 2012 and in 2017 there was more than one candidate. In this way, only in 2003, Joan Ignasi Pla appeared without apparent opposition at the 10th congress of the Valencian socialists, although he had support of only 62% of the votes, a sign of the unrest among the militancy in a party that did not raise head and saw how the PP consolidated its absolute majorities in the Valencian administrations.

Also, although it was still surprising, he had a rival in 2017 from the then president of the Generalitat, Ximo Puig, who did not deserve the endorsement of having recovered the Generalitat for his party 20 years later. Those loyal to José Luis Ábalos, then a person of Pedro Sánchez’s greatest confidence, proposed an alternative that reached 42% of the votes.

Puig had to wait until 2021 (the 14th and last congress, which was held in Benidorm) to have, after the deactivation of the abalism, a calm conclave to renew his leadership.

Thus, only Pla – and with strong internal opposition – and Ximo Puig, when he had already been president of the Generalitat for six years, managed to avoid the configuration of alternative lists.

In the socialist ranks they still remember the tense congress that Joan Romero won in 1997, which did not even qualify him to be a candidate for the Generalitat in 1999 because his own colleagues destroyed him. After the close result of the congress, the internal differences continued and weeks before the regional elections, Romero presented his resignation to the National Committee. A management commission was appointed and Antoni Asunción became the new candidate for the Presidency. The PP achieved the first absolute majority in its history in the Valencian regional elections.

The tension experienced in the extraordinary congress of 1999, won by Joan Ignasi Pla, also resonates in the memory of the most veterans. Insults were heard in the hallways, some militants even came to blows. Pla resigned shortly after trying to find a way out of the constant internal instability – another manager was created – and had to wait a year to become general secretary in a conclave that he won by just 10 votes over José Luis Ábalos.

All these internal brawls, which condemned the PSPV to years of opposition, are what they want to avoid in 2024, after unexpectedly losing the Generalitat seven months ago. For this reason, they want to go slowly, trying to lay the foundations for a calm conclave where the necessary renewal of positions does not blow up a party that, as the still general secretary, Ximo Puig, recalls, has stabilized at around 30% of the votes in the last electoral calls.