Legislation in Spain: the preferred right, the far right in ambush

Spaniards are mobilizing strongly on Sunday for legislative elections across Europe, of which the right-wing opposition is the favorite but which could also bring the far-right into government for the first time since the end of Francoism. Indicative of the importance given to this election, participation rose sharply to 40.48% by 2 pm, up from 37.92% during the previous legislative elections in 2019.

A figure that, moreover, does not include the 2.47 million out of 37.5 million voters who voted by post – a record number due to the fact that this election is being held in mid-summer for the first time.

Right-wing People’s Party declared victorious

Given the winner in the elections, the leader of the People’s Party (PP, right) Alberto Núñez Feijoo said on Sunday he hoped Spain would “start a new era”. This election is “very important (…) for the world and Europe”, estimated Socialist Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez, who has been in power for five years.

Polling stations will close at 8 pm but it will take about an hour for the first partial results to be published.

The election is attracting unusual interest abroad because of the possibility of a coalition coming to power between the conservative right-wing and the ultra-nationalist and ultra-conservative Vox party, which denies the existence of gender violence, criticizes “climate bigotry” and is very openly anti-LGBT and anti-abortion.

Such a scenario would mark the return of the far right to power in Spain for the first time since the end of Franco’s dictatorship nearly half a century ago.

read this alsoLegislature in Spain: Santiago Abascal, leader of Vox who inspires the far right

european access election

As the 2024 European elections approach, last year’s rightward tilt of the fourth-largest economy in the euro area after Italy would be a crushing blow to the European Left, which is all the more symbolic as Spain currently holds the rotating presidency of the EU.

In a column published Sunday in the French daily WorldFormer British Labor Prime Minister Gordon Brown speculated that Vox’s entry into government – ​​according to him, was synonymous with “the surrender of Spanish conservatives to the extreme right” – would “have an impact across the continent”.

All opinion polls published till Monday saw a victory for 61-year-old Mr Feijoo’s PP almost certain, but the fact that their publication was banned for five days before the election calls for caution.

Mr. Fizu aims to win an absolute majority of 176 deputies in the Chamber of Deputies, so that the PP can govern alone. But none of the surveys consider such scores and hence the PP must resort to alliances.

His only potential partner is Vox, a party born out of a split in the PP in 2013, with whom he already governs three of the country’s 17 regions. However Vox’s leader, Santiago Abascal, warned that the price of his support would be participation in the government.

Alliance with Vox, admits PP “not ideal”

Brian Sanchez, a 27-year-old computer scientist who voted in Barcelona (northeast), told AFPTV: “A coalition government between PP and Vox will be beneficial, because it will be dedicated to making Spain better, not pleasing everyone.”

Vox is a strong supporter of Catalan independence, an analysis dismissed by 46-year-old Catalan actress Lia Ricard, who felt such an alliance would be “disastrous at all levels” for her region.

Mr Fizoo, who described the PP as “a reformist centre-right party”, remained vague about its intentions until the end, although in an interview with the daily on Friday he acknowledged el mundoA coalition government with Vox “is not ideal”.

Following the defeat of the left during local elections in May, which prompted him to call this early election, 51-year-old Pedro Sánchez made Vox a scarecrow to play on the fears of the far right.

Condemning “the tandem formed by the far-right and extreme right” and playing the European card, he considered that a PP/Vox coalition government would “not only be a blow to Spain” in terms of rights, “but would also be a serious blow to the European project”.

For him, the only option is to retain power in the current left-wing coalition, established in 2020 between his Socialist Party and the radical left represented by Communist Labor Minister Yolanda Díaz.

“For people of my generation, these are the most important elections (…) It is the next decade that is at stake,” warned Ms. Díaz on Sunday, whose Sumer formation brings together about fifteen parties.

(with AFP)



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