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••• The International Writers Magazine - Our 20th Year: SPANISH ELECTIONS

A New Broom in Spain
• James Skinner
General elections for 350 seats in the Spanish Parliament took place on Sunday the 28th of April.


There is no substantial change other than the President, Pedro Sanchez has stated that he intends to govern in a minority without a coalition, although today, 9.5.19 , after meetings - routine protocol - with the other leaders (Casado PP - Rivera Ciudadans - Pablo Iglesias - Podemos) he has come to some sort of agreement with the latter, Podemos but without details. What is going on at the moment is campaigning for the forthcoming local elections as well as the European Parliament both coinciding at the same time. VOX continues to be lambasted by all and sundry including the media although these local elections will be a test to see whether this so called hard right party survives or is triumphant against all odds.

Herewith the result of the voting:

PSOE - Socialists - 123
PP – Conservatives – 66
CIUDADANS – Every-which-way - 57
PODEMOS – Hard left – 35
VOX – Hard right – 24
ERC – Catalan Republican – 15
ECP – Catalan left wing conglomerate – 7
JxCAT – Catalan right nationalist - 7
EAJ/PNV – Basque right wing nationalist – 6
EH/Bildu – Basque (ETA) left wing nationalist – 4
CCa/PNC – Canary Islands nationalist – 2
NA+ - Navarra right wing nationalist– 1
PRC – Cantabria left wing nationalist - 1

A majority ruling would require 176 seats - one more than half the total. Judging by the above, the highest number are those gained by the Socialists (PSOE) but are nowhere near those needed to form a government. Hence negotiations and possible coalition agreements will be the order of the day. The interim government that is the present socialist one will spend the next few weeks, with a deadline on the 26th of May, to present the formation of a cabinet of ministers by the 15th of June to the King of Spain Felipe VI for approval. The President and his minister will then swear, one by one to abide by the Constitution, similar to other formalities of a democratic country.

So, judging by the above conglomerate of political party representation just pull out the Ouija board or the Monopoly game or just a simple calculator and try to figure out how Sr. Pedro Sanchez (PSOE) is going to sort his way through the melee of candidates, each asking for their piece of the pie and form some sort of a coalition government. One must bear in mind that many of the above also have internal alliances that only add fuel to the confusion.

The results, to a certain degree, have stunned the nation as such a severe swing from right to left was not predicted in the various polls prior to the elections. Nevertheless, the socialists had also been gaining brownie points primarily due to Sr. Sanchez’s flamboyant swan around the world giving the citizens the impression that he was an excellent representative of the nation on the international arena. Another reason is due to the rise in Spain’s feminist movements promoted by the government that has probably caused a rise in the female vote. One must also remember that the present cabinet is made up primarily of female ministers. The vice-president, Sra. Carmen Calvo who seems to be running the road show appeared on the balcony of the party’s HQ together with the president after the results were announced wearing a ‘T’ shirt that said, in English in large letters, ‘Yes. I am a feminist.’

That said it all.

But what also caused the change was the chaotic disarray of the right wing sector thanks to the new kid on the block, VOX, lambasted by all and sundry including all the media as xenophobic, racists, anti-emigration, anti-feminist, fascist and even a resurrection of the Franco dictatorship. The conservative (PP) candidate, Sr. Pablo Casado did not know how to handle the situation. He just fell from the pedestal. Ciudadans and Podemos just kept quiet.

As stated earlier, for the time being Sr. Sanchez has stated that he will not commit to any alliance. He intends, for the time being, to govern in solitary. It is a wise move. The future program, budget approval, Catalan situation, the economic repercussion, and any other changes or hiccups that may or will occur will be reported later on during the month.

Other than this brief summary, anything could happen from now on.

© James Skinner May 1st 2019 - updated 9th May

8M - Spanish Elections
James Skinner
Spain goes to the polls and women are leading the way to a Socialist victory ...

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