Pedro Sánchez Pérez-Castejón (Spanish pronunciation: [ˈpeðɾo ˈsaɲʧeθ ˈpeɾeθ kasteˈxon], born 29 February 1972) is a Spanish politician who was the Secretary-General of the Spanish Socialist Workers' Party (PSOE) from 2014 to 2016. He is a Doctorate in Economics since 2012 and was a Professor of Economics before his Congressional career. Currently a Deputy in the congress for three terms (for Madrid), he has been serving Spain's official leader of the opposition since 26 July 2014. He was elected as the Secretary-General of the PSOE via a primary election process, and is the first Secretary-General of the Spanish Socialist Workers' Party to have been elected directly by its members. After the 2015 elections, the King of Spain, having consulted the parliamentary groups, asked Sánchez to try to form a government on 2 February 2016 but he was unsuccessful and another election was called for June 2016.
As a consequence of the PSOE poor showings in the 2016 Basque and Galician elections, 17 members of the PSOE Executive resigned from their posts on 28 September 2016, resulting in the body's dissolution as per party rules and theoretically prompting Sánchez's resignation. Sánchez refused to acknowledge his ouster and remained in his position, with critics responding that Sánchez no longer had "any legitimacy" and urging him to "acknowledge party rules".
On 1 October 2016, Pedro Sánchez resigned as PSOE leader after losing a key ballot to Susana Díaz's critics in the party's federal committee held that same day. A few weeks later, on 29 October, he also resigned his seat in Congress after his party's choice to abstain in Mariano Rajoy's investiture and allow a PP minority government.
Pedro Sánchez was born in the Madrid suburb of Tetuán. His father is a socialist entrepreneur. His mother is a social security worker. He graduated from Instituto Ramiro de Maeztu, a college-preparatory school. He played as a basketballer in Estudiantes U-21 basketball team.
In 1990, he went to the Complutense University to study economics and business sciences. He graduated in 1995. In 1993, he joined the PSOE after the victory of Felipe González in elections that year. He earned a degree in Politics and Economics in 1998 after graduating from the Free University of Brussels, and a degree of business leadership from IESE Business School in the University of Navarra.
Before entering a career in regional and national politics, Pedro Sánchez worked as a political adviser in the European Parliament, and in the United Nations during the Kosovo War.
He speaks fluent Spanish, English and French. He is an atheist.
Madrid City Councillor career
In 2003, he contested in the Madrid City Council election headed by Trinidad Jiménez. Being the 23rd on the proportional representation list and PSOE only won 21 seats, Sánchez did not become a city councillor until
a year later when two socialist councillors resigned. He quickly became one of the fundamental component of the leader of opposition Trinidad Jiménez’s team. Between 18 May 2004 – 15 September 2009, he was one of the 320 members of the City Council of Madrid, representing PSOE in the city of Madrid. At the same time, he went to help the PSdG (PSOE’s affiliated party in Galicia) to contest in the 2005 Galician regional election, which PSdG won eight seats, allowing Emilio Pérez Touriño to become the president of Galicia. In 2007, he was a part of the Miguel Sebastián campaign for Madrid’s premiership. He married María Begoña Gómez Fernández in 2006, they have two daughters. Their wedding was officiated by Trinidad Jiménez. He successfully defended his seat again in the municipal elections in 2007. He held the position of opposition critic of economy, housing and planning.
First term (2009-2011)
He was elected as a member in the Spanish Congress of Deputies for Madrid, replacing Pedro Solbes, Minister of Economy and Finance in the José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero cabinet, after Solbes retired from politics in 2009.
Short defeat (2011-2013)
In the general election of 2011, a heavy defeat for the Socialists, PSOE placed Sánchez 11th on the Proportional Representation list, while only electing 10 deputies. Having thus failed to win a seat, he returned to the Camilo José Cela University to finish his Doctorate in Economics. He served as a consultant to a European consortium and as a university professor. He earned a PhD in Economics and Business from the Camilo José Cela University.
Second term until leadership election (2013-2014)
In January 2013, Sánchez returned to Congress, replacing Cristina Narbona, who left her seat to enter the Council of Nuclear Safety. In December 2013, after a numerous Socialist leaders such as Elena Valenciano, Trinidad Jiménez, Miguel Sebastián and José Blanco López attended his new book release, his name began to sound like a prospective candidate for the party leadership. Sánchez officially launched his candidacy on June 12, 2014. He was elected as the Secretary-General on July 13, after winning 49% of votes against his opponents Eduardo Madina and José Antonio Pérez-Tapias (member of the Socialist Left platform). He was confirmed as Secretary-General after an Extraordinary Congress of the PSOE was held on 26–27 July that ratified the electoral result.
Representing a platform based on political regeneration, he demands a constitutional reform establishing federalism as the form of administrative organization of Spain in order to ensure that Catalonia would remain inside the country; a new, progressive, fiscal policy; extending welfare rights to all citizens; joining labour unions again to strengthen economic recovery; and regaining the confidence of former Socialist voters disenchanted by the measures taken by Zapatero during his late term as Prime Minister amid an economic crisis. He also opposes the grand coalition model supported by the former Socialist Prime Minister Felipe González, who championed the German system in case of political instability. Sánchez asked his European party caucus not to vote for the consensual candidate Jean-Claude Juncker of the European People's Party.
Upon taking office as PSOE's Secretary-General, Sánchez faced a political crisis after the formation of a new party, Podemos. Approximately 25% of all PSOE supporters flew to Podemos. Sánchez's political agenda includes reforming the constitution, establishing a federal model in Spain to replace the current devolution model and to further secularize Spain's education system, including the removal of religion-affiliated public and private schools. He named César Luena as his second-in-command. On June 21, 2015, Sánchez was officially announced as the PSOE premiership candidate for the December 2015 general election. His party earned 90 seats, being second to rivals of Partido Popular (PP), who won the election with 123 representatives out of a parliament formed by 350. Since PP's leader didn't stand officially for the premiership, following this Sánchez was requested by the King to form a coalition, but he was unable to obtain the support of a majority of representatives. This led to a further general election in June 2016, where he stood again as PSOE's candidate. Winning 85 seats, which made the floor of his party in a general election, he resigned in October 2016.