Spain: Five things to know about elections



ELECTIONS – 37 million Spaniards are voting, for the fourth time since 2015, this Sunday. Participation will be a key element in this new election, which is part of an unprecedented government crisis.

The Spaniards return to the polls Sunday. For the fourth time in four years … The Catalan crisis and the rise of the extreme right that claims to solve it by the strong way has not reassured the unprecedented government crisis that Spain is going through. Six months after the April legislative elections he won without an absolute majority, Socialist Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez calls on the 37 million voters to give him a clear mandate to put an end to the political instability in Spain for almost four years.

Still, despite the "national emergency", as explained El Pais, the context is not clearer: troubles in Catalonia, exhumation of Franco, rise of the far right, fragmentation of parliament and political instability … here are five things to know about the Sunday legislative in Spain, the fourth in four years.


After years of peaceful independence mobilization, a turning point has taken place in this region of northeastern Spain with the violence following the October 14 conviction of nine pro-independence leaders with heavy prison sentences for their role in the attempt. of secession of 2017.

The subject became central in the campaign, with the right urging outgoing Socialist government leader Pedro Sanchez to suspend the region's broad autonomy or dismiss his separatist president. Refusing to take such exceptional measures, Mr. Sanchez has nonetheless hardened his tone against separatists.

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  • Spain: nine Catalan separatists sentenced to up to 13 years in prison

Ascent of Vox

According to polls, this crisis in Catalonia would have a beneficiary: the extreme right party Vox.

This ultra-nationalist and anti-integration training, which brought the extreme right back to the fore in a country where it had been marginal since the death of dictator Franco in 1975, came into force in Parliament in April with 24 out of 350 MPs. Predict a much better Sunday score, where she could become the country's third political force.

The support of this party has already allowed the Popular Party (right) and the liberals of Ciudadanos to govern the regions of Andalusia (south), Madrid and Murcia (east) as well as the mayor of the Spanish capital.

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  • Legislative in Spain: how the extreme right party Vox has emerged in the political game


Deleted more than a year because of the legal battle led by his descendants, the exhumation of the dictator Franco of his mausoleum of Valle de los Caidos, near Madrid, to transfer it in a discreet family vault, took place unless three weeks of elections.

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Spain: the remains of Franco exhumed from his mausoleum

Accused by his rivals of making it an electoral argument, Pedro Sanchez, who stressed the historical character of the transfer of the remains of the dictator who ruled Spain from 1939 to 1975, hoped, according to observers, a mobilizing effect on voters from the left.

But "this will not have the effect expected by the government," judges political scientist Fernando Vallespin.


The Spanish parliament is very fragmented since the bipartisanship (PP-Socialist Party) shattered in 2015 with the irruption of Ciudadanos and the radical left of Podemos, and that Vox entered it last April.

And the situation is expected to increase on Sunday with the candidacy of Mas Pais, formed by the former number two Podemos Inigo Errejon, and that of the Catalan left-wing extremist party CUP.


This fragmentation suggests a continuation of political instability. Pedro Sanchez, led by the polls, had already won the poll in April but without an absolute majority. Unable to agree with Podemos, he could not be returned to power, which forced the country to return to the polls.

This time, according to the polls, neither the left block (PSOE, Podemos, Mas Pais) nor the right block (Ciudadanos, PP, Vox) also seem able to reach the absolute majority either.

The Catalan separatists, who supported Sanchez's coming to power last year, are credited with a total of more than 20 seats, but the Socialists do not want their support. The last-ditch solution could come from abstaining from the PP during a nomination vote by Mr. Sanchez to allow him to govern in a minority. According to Fernando Vallespin, the PSOE "must reach an agreement with the PP, whatever it is".

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