The president of the Spanish Government, the socialist Pedro Sánchez, announced this Monday by surprise the advancement of the national legislative elections to July 23, after the collapse of his party in the municipal and regional elections on Sunday.
“The elections will be held on Sunday, July 23,” Sánchez announced in an institutional statement from the Moncloa palace, specifying that he had made “this decision in view of the results of the elections held yesterday.”
The council of ministers will meet this Monday afternoon to endorse the announcement, whose publication in the Official State Gazette on Tuesday will lead to the dissolution of Parliament.
In Sunday’s elections, the conservatives of the PP seized important mayoralties such as those of Seville and Valencia from the socialists, in addition to revalidating with an absolute majority the governments of the city and the region of Madrid.
In addition, the Popular Party prevailed in six regions where the Socialists governed, alone or in coalition: the Valencian Community, Aragon, Extremadura, La Rioja, the Balearic Islands and Cantabria.
If the day was victorious for the PP, it was also victorious for the far-right formation of Vox, whose support will be necessary for the conservatives in many places.
“Many institutions will be administered by new majorities made up of the Popular Party and Vox, and although yesterday’s votes had a municipal and regional scope, the meaning of the vote conveys a message that goes further,” Sanchez maintained.
“For this reason, as President of the Government and also as General Secretary of the Socialist Party, I assume the results in first person and I believe it is necessary to give an answer,” he advanced.
In the municipal elections, the PP obtained more than seven million votes (31.5%), compared to 6.2 million (28.1%) for Pedro Sánchez’s PSOE
What happened in Spain?
Pedro Sánchez’s Socialists suffered a severe setback at the hands of the right-wing opposition in Sunday’s municipal and regional elections in Spain, a very bad omen for the leftist government at the gates of national legislation.
“We have clearly won and we have taken the first step for a new political cycle (…) in the coming months”, congratulated the leader of the Popular Party (PP, right), Alberto Núñez Feijóo, referring to those general elections to be held at the end of the year, on a date yet to be defined.
After a day in which his party won the majority of the votes in the municipal elections and seized the government in various regions from the Socialists, Núñez Feijóo celebrated Sunday night on the balcony of the PP headquarters in Madrid, before hundreds of followers who shouted “president, president”.
The defeat of the socialists was without palliatives in these elections that the right had erected in a plebiscite on Pedro Sánchez and a first round before the legislative ones.
A “tsunami” of the right “has happened today in each and every one of the autonomous communities (regions) of Spain”, admitted the outgoing regional president of Aragon, the socialist Javier Lambán, after being defeated by the right.
The PP achieved its objectives this Sunday, beginning with having obtained the largest number of votes in the municipal elections, with more than seven million (31.5%), two million more than four years ago, compared to 6.2 million ( 28.1%) from the Socialist Party of Pedro Sánchez
Anyway, the PP will probably have to agree with the extreme right of Vox to form a government in some regions, a problem for Núñez Feijóo, who knows that the legislative ones are won with a more central discourse.
Vox, the third force in the national Parliament, made great strides this Sunday, reaching third position in the municipal elections and entering several regional parliaments, where its support will be “absolutely decisive” for the right to unseat the left, said its leader Santiago abascal.
In one of their painful defeats, the Socialists lost the mayoralty of Seville, the largest city in Andalusia, and one of its strongholds.for the benefit of the PP, according to public television TVE.
The Socialists also failed to win in Barcelona, the great metropolis of Catalonia, which they occupied from 1979 to 2011, although they could try a pact with other left-wing parties to govern in coalition.
“It is not what we expected after these weeks of electoral campaign and obviously we also have to reflect on the coming months,” admitted the socialist spokesperson, Pilar Alegría.
On this day without major incidents, the Spaniards were summoned to renew all the municipalities of the country and twelve of the seventeen autonomous communities (regions).
Under the rain in various areas of the country, participation in the municipal elections was finally 63.89%, lower than that of the past 2019 elections (65.19%).
*With information from AFP.
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