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Fri, 06 Dec 2019 02:33 GMT

Spain’s Open Elections Highlights Its Political Fragmentation Problems


7Dnews London

Fri, 19 Jul 2019 04:31 GMT

Spain's acting Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez has declared that he was not planning to call a new election, and would keep pursuing a deal to form a government, despite the stalling of inter-party talks in which the left-leaning political party’s Podemos leader, Pablo Iglesias, demands being part of his government as the price of his and his party’s political support, AFP reported.

Following an inconclusive early general election in April, Sanchez's Socialists need the support of Podemos to win a confidence vote in parliament next week, and be sworn in for a second term. However, Iglesias has sought a coalition deal with the Socialists, in which he gets a cabinet post in a new Socialist government, in exchange for Podemos' support, AFP reported.

But Sanchez has cited disagreements with Iglesias over Spain’s northeastern region of Catalonia, which in 2017 carried out a failed attempt to break away from Spain, as a reason against this.

Sanchez, 47, came to power in June 2018, after the People’s Party was ousted over a fraud scandal. His Socialist party won 123 seats in the April polls, the most by any party, but short of an absolute majority needed in the 350-seat assembly.

However, to be sworn in for another term, he needs the backing of Podemos, which won 42 seats, and that of smaller regional parties, to win an absolute majority of votes in a confidence vote in parliament on Tuesday July 23rd.

If Sanchez lost that vote, he would then face a second confidence vote two days later, and if he lost the second one, a two-month period would open during which parties would have to resolve their stalemate, in which new elections would be automatically triggered, according to AFP.

And this would be Spain's fourth general elections in four years, as the country's increasingly fragmented political landscape has made it harder to form stable political majorities.