Polisario Front loses support in the European Parliament

The President of the Intergroup for Western Sahara, Joachim Schuster, has left the post
Atalayar_Joaquim Schuster

PHOTO/EUROPEAN UNION/EMILIE GOMEZ  -   The MEP Joachim Schuster

German Social Democrat MEP Joaquim Schuster has left the presidency of the Intergroup for Western Sahara, as reported in a statement by the MEP himself. In it he indicates that one of the causes has been the end of the ceasefire by the Polisario Front, something that he considers to be a "strategic error".

Joaquim added that he could not see "how this decision could promote a solution to the conflict, but rather that it would exacerbate the situation between Morocco and the Polisario Front". This is the end of Joaquim's journey since he held the presidency of the Intergroup after it was created just a year ago, to try to find a peaceful solution to the conflict at the hands of the African Union. 

The Western Sahara Intergroup is made up of 120 MEPs. Almost all of them, with the exception of four – three from the Liberal group and one from the EPP – belong to the Social Democratic, Green or Unitarian Left families. This important presence of the parties of the left wing of the European Parliament prevents an ideological transversality of the work carried out by the Intergroup.

Atalayar_Frente Polisario
AP/DANIEL OCHOA DE OLZA - Archive photograph, Polisario Front members in the Western Sahara region of Tifariti

Following Joachim's decision, it remains to be seen whether the presidency will be taken over by one of the vice-presidents, the German Social Democrat Klaus Buchner, or the Spanish United Left party, Manu Pineda, or whether a new president will be elected from among the Social Democrats who are present in the Intergroup for Western Sahara.

There are ten Spaniards present in the Intergroup for Western Sahara, of whom Javier Nart is the only one who does not belong to any of the left-wing families that monopolise the membership.

The situation for the Polisario Front has become complicated as a result of Donald Trump's decision to recognise Moroccan sovereignty over Western Sahara as the only realistic solution to a conflict that continues to drag on without any apparent solution.

With this resignation, the Polisario Front is losing important support in the European Parliament, although support for the Saharan cause predominates in the Intergroup for Western Sahara.