The Conservatives win but fail to achieve a majority – DW – 07/24/2023

Spain The right-wing opposition People’s Party won Sunday’s snap general election, with 100% of the votes counted, but fell short of a parliamentary majority.

The results showed that the Socialist Workers Party and Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez received 33.1% and 31.7% of the vote, respectively.

This would give the People’s Party, led by leader Alberto Núñez Figo, 136 seats in the 350-seat Chamber of Deputies, the Chamber of Deputies, and the Socialists 122.

The parties are now looking to form a coalition government

The outcome is likely to lead to weeks of political maneuvering, with the People’s Party now needing the support of several smaller parties to achieve a governing majority of 176 seats.

Even with the backing of the far-right Vox party, which offered to partner with PP, the pair secured only 169 seats, so they are just seven.

But if this partnership is confirmed later, along with a third party, it will be the first time that a file far-right party He has been in government in Spain since the end of Francisco Franco’s dictatorship in the 1970s. For this reason, it is expected that many smaller parties will refuse to join such an alliance.

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Meanwhile, the radical left-wing Somar, who brought together 15 small left-wing parties and supported the Socialists, won 31 seats, giving any alliance with Sanchez only 153 seats.

The remaining parties are mostly region specific. The two Catalan Pro-independence parties, which previously voted to support a Sanchez-led government, have seen their seat numbers drop, but they may still play the role of kingmaker if Sanchez tries to stay on as prime minister.

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Possible demands from the Catalan separatist party Junts (together) for a referendum on Catalan independence could be an obstacle for Sanchez to include him in the coalition.

Failure of both sides to reach a governing coalition could lead to another election.

Sanchez and Figo both claim victory

The leader of the People’s Party told supporters in Madrid on Sunday night that his party would now try to form a government.

“As the candidate of the party that won the most seats, I believe it is my duty to try to form a government,” Figo said.

He demanded that “no one fall into the temptation to obstruct the formation of a new government,” adding that Spain does not need a period of uncertainty.

Sanchez was also celebrating the result from the balcony of his party headquarters late Sunday, with the Socialists winning more seats and a higher percentage of the vote than in the 2019 election.

Sanchez celebrated after his party saw its number of seats in Parliament increase by twoPhoto: Emilio Morenatti/AP Photo/picture Alliance

He told his supporters that the expected victory of the conservative bloc and the far right had failed.

He told his supporters that “the backward bloc that proposed a complete repeal of all the progress we have made over the past four years has failed.”

The reactionary bloc of the Popular Party and Fox was beaten.

“There are more people who want Spain to continue to advance than those who want to retreat,” Sanchez added.

Why did Spain hold early elections?

Sanchez called the election Early after the left suffered a defeat in the local elections in May. The vote was originally scheduled for December.

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The elections took place only three weeks after Spain assumed the rotating presidency of the European Union, and the victory of the People’s Party was a new blow to the European left after similar moves in other European Union countries – Sweden, Finland and Italy.

The prime minister’s minority socialist government is currently in coalition with the far-left party Unidas Podemos, which ran in Sunday’s elections under Sumar’s platform.Photo: Emilio Morenatti Alliance/AP/picture

The elections also took place at the height of summer, when a large number of voters may be away from their usual polling locations due to holidays and at the end of the month. heat waves.

The participation rate was calculated at 70.4%.

A record number – 2.47 million of the 37.5 million registered voters – cast absentee ballots even before polling stations opened.

The little party is getting ready to play kingmaker

Pre-election polls had predicted a greater majority for the People’s Party but it would have to rely on Vox’s support to form a government.

Núñez Figo now needs to negotiate with much smaller parties to try and reach goal number 176.

In an interview published on Friday by El Mundo, Feijoo stated that a candidate should not reveal their alliances just two days before the election. He added that forming a government with Vox “is not ideal”.

However, PP and Vox have already teamed up to govern dozens of regions and cities since the local elections in May.

Support for the anti-Islam, anti-feminist party is dwindling. In the last election in November 2019, Vox won 52 seats. But Sunday’s election saw the far-right party’s share of seats drop to 33.

The far-right Vox was unable to gather enough votes to form a two-party coalition government with the People’s PartyPhoto: Andrea Comas/AP Photo/picture alliance

mm, lo/jcg, fb (AP, AFP, EFE, Reuters)

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