SPAIN: In rebuttal to his Socialist party’s crushing defeat in Sunday’s local and regional elections, Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez called early general elections for July.
In a speech broadcast on television, the prime minister admitted fault for the shocking election results and highlighted the EU presidency and the conflict in Ukraine as justifications for the need to “clarify” the will of the people.
The PM mentioned, “There is only one infallible method to resolve these doubts. That method is a democracy. The best way is for Spaniards to have their say and to speak without delay to define the country’s political direction.”
Sánchez’s standing has been negatively affected by his politically contentious alliances, despite the fact that Spain’s economy has conducted reasonably well and that innumerable pro-worker legislative victories have been made.
He has relied on the parliamentary assistance of Catalan separatists and a Basque secessionist party, whose candidates included ex-members of the terrorist organization Eta which has been dissolved and was found guilty of violent crimes.
Throughout a campaign in which the conservative People’s Party (PP) attacked the prime minister’s political relationships and morals, Sánchez made the unforeseen declaration on Monday morning as the party was celebrating substantial electoral victories.
Sánchez declared that he would dissolve parliament in order to be prepared for the July 23 elections. Sánchez has developed a reputation as a statesman on the international stage but has become a vehemently divisive figure at home.
The choice implies that Spain will be involved in yet another dreary campaign as it gets ready to take over the rotating six-month EU presidency at the beginning of July. The Socialists are trying to emulate Sánchez’s standing both domestically and internationally.
Voters will have to decide between a right-wing coalition led by the PP and the hard-right Vox party that prioritizes traditional values and institutions and a left-wing group led by the Socialists that places a focus on economic equality.
The opposition will need the backing of the Vox party, which is currently Spain’s third-largest political force, in order to prevail in many cities and areas despite the PP’s remarkable electoral initiative.