15 MAY 1936, Page 2

President Azaiia Senor Azafia's election as President of the Spanish

Republic was certain once he presented himself as a candidate. He is the most powerful personality in Spanish politics ; but his decision to become President has been a shock to many of his most devoted supporters, for by doing so he retires from the leadership of the Popular Front to the comparative security of the Presi- dential office, with a salary of 160,000 a year. It is difficult to estimate the motives of a man who, having been given overwhelming support for a difficult and dangerous policy, has apparently at the first opportunity left other men to carry it through. _ What is certain is that the policy itself, of founding, • through the Popular Front, a State which should be radical and democratic but .not Communist, has become even more difficult, owing to the concentration of the hitherto divided forces of the extremists. On the same day on which Senor Azafia became President a revolutionary alliance, under Largo Caballero, the Socialist leader, was formed between the syndicalist National Confederation of Labour and the Socialist General Union of Workers. Both these great organisations are pledged to direct revolutionary action, and are encouraged in their views by the success of the peasants in seizing the land, and in many districts the control of • local administration. Which bodes ill for the maintenance of order in Spain.