In Spain, the leader of the Socialist Workers Party (POSE), Senor Felipe Gonzalez commented on his decision to resign from office during a news conference in Madrid on Tuesday (22 May).
SV ZOOM AND PAN Former Spanish Socialist Workers Party Leader Filipe Gonzalez with colleagues seated around table in Madrid
CU Mr Gonzalez being asked questions and replying in Spanish
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Background: In Spain, the leader of the Socialist Workers Party (POSE), Senor Felipe Gonzalez commented on his decision to resign from office during a news conference in Madrid on Tuesday (22 May). Senor Gonzalez had led the party for five years and announced his resignation on the last day of the party's centennial congress on sunday (20 May).
SYNOPSIS: Senor Gonzalez was reportedly the second most popular political figure in the country after centrist party Prime Minister Adolfo Suarez. In the General Election last March, the socialists finished second to Senor Suarez' Union of the Democratic Centre, winning one hundred and twenty-one seats in the lower house of parliament.
During his news conference, Senor Gonzalez gave the reasons for his resignation. Before his party's four-day congress, he had publically canvased for his proposal that the party drop its Marxist label in order to widen its electoral appeal. During the congress, which was the first since the party was legalised in 1977 and only the second since the Civil War, Senor Gonzalez' motion was overwhelmingly defeated.
The Party's official label is a "Class, Mass, Marxist, Democratic and Federal Party" and Senor Gonzalez told delegates at the congress that they should approach Marxism critically and be socialists before Marxists. Many of his chief aides on the Executive Committee have resigned in sympathy and a possible new leader has yet to emerge. After Senor Gonzalez' announcement, the Congress elected a five-man management committee of officials to run the party until a special electoral conference is held.
Senor Gonzalez, aged thirty-seven had held the position of Secretary-General unchallenged during his leadership. Apart from the Parliamentary success of the socialists, the party also won power in most of Spain's major cities in the municipal elections last month.