The early elections in Spain leaves country in a political limbo

by Courthouse News Service

In a surprise result after Sunday’s elections, Socialist Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez was in the pole position on Monday to form the next government — and this one could be even more radical than his current one, which includes communists.

Polls had projected that Sánchez’s main opposition on the right, the Partido Popular, was on track to win enough votes to consider forming a coalition government with Vox, a far-right nationalist party rising in popularity in Spain.

But that didn’t happen. Spaniards turned out in large numbers despite torrid summer heat and blocked the right-wing bloc from getting into La Moncloa, the executive building in Madrid.

Turnout was over 70% for Spain’s 37 million voters, higher than the previous November 2019 election that resulted in Sánchez cobbling together the country’s first-ever coalition government with Podemos, a far-left communist-inspired party that he gambled to ally with.

The Popular Party picked up 136 parliamentary seats, the most of any party. But it fell well short of the 176 it needed for a majority; even adding Vox’s 33 new deputies leaves the pair coming up short, with 169 out of the 350 seats in Spain’s Congress of Deputies. Meanwhile, Vox’s opposition to Catalan and Basque independence drives makes any coalition with those smaller parties nearly impossible.

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