01:39 GMT +310 December 2018
Listen Live
    Spanish flag

    Spain's Socialists Lose Seats in Andalusia as Right Rises Amid Migration Fears

    CC0 / Pixabay
    Europe
    Get short URL
    181

    The major loss of seats in Andalusia, which has been the dominant power in the autonomous region for 36 years, came as a blow to Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez's party.

    The party managed to get only 33 seats in the 109-member regional parliament of Andalusia, compared to 47 in 2015; the region had been called a “Socialist bastion” for 36 years, the Associated Press reported. Five parties now sit in the legislature, but none have the 55 seats needed to govern without forming a coalition.

    READ MORE: Disturbing Phenomenon: Spain Always Had Strange Mix of 'Casual Racism' – Scholar

    “Despite winning the election it is a sad night for the Socialist Party,” regional leader Susana Diaz said. “There has been a real loss of ground for the Left. But the worst thing is that the extreme right, a phenomenon that has appeared in the rest of Europe, has arrived here,” she added, referring to the populist Vox party, which was able to obtain 12 seats. Vox, founded four years ago, had not previously held any seats in any legislative body in Spain. 

    The conservative People's Party and centre-right Citizens party now hold 26 seats and 21 seats respectively; Adelante Andalucia, a left-wing party, got 17 seats. This makes Vox the key to the creation of a conservative coalition in Spain's most populous region.

    “Now is the moment to say loud and clear who we are and that we have come to stay,” a Vox candidate told a crowd of supporters who chanted “Spain! Spain! Spain!”

    Diaz said she would call on other parties to “build a firewall against the extreme right in Spain,” referring to the success of Vox and other conservative parties pushing for a tougher stance on immigration. 

    According to CNBC, "Andalusia, which has one of Europe's highest unemployment rates, is the entry point for thousands of Africans who have been reaching Spain by sea in greater numbers as traffic on the other main route across the Mediterranean to Italy has curbed."

    France's Marine Le Pen congratulated Vox, tweeting: "Strong and warm congratulations to my friends from @Vox, who tonight in Spain scored a very meaningful result for such a young and dynamic movement."

    Spain's Socialist Prime Minister Sanchez has led a minority government since former Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy lost a no-confidence vote in June. There is speculation Sanchez may call for early elections if he cannot pass a national budget this year instead of serving out the full legislative term until 2020, the Associated Press reported.

    Related:

    Gibraltar's Chief Minister Says UK to Retain Sovereignty Despite Spain's Claims
    Spain Strikes EU Deal on Gibraltar, Brexit Summit to Move Ahead - Spanish PM
    'We Do Not Need a Veto': Gibraltar Ready for Talks With Spain Over Brexit Deal
    Brexit Deal Should Satisfy All Involved States, Including Spain - Portugal’s PM
    Google Crash Detected in US, UK, Spain and Some Other Countries - Reports
    We Know Spain Has Gibraltar Issues But We Will Uphold Brexit Deal - Merkel
    Tags:
    electoral votes, party, elections, Pedro Sanchez, Andalusia, Spain
    Community standardsDiscussion
    Comment via FacebookComment via Sputnik