Spain’s Socialist Party wins general election, falls short of majority Parliament

World Today

Spain's Socialist Party wins general election, falls short of majority ParliamentSpain’s Prime Minister and Socialist Party leader Pedro Sanchez gestures to supporters outside the party headquarters following the general election in Madrid, Spain, Sunday, April 28, 2019. (AP Photo/Bernat Armangue)

Spain’s Socialist Party has won the general election, but fell short of majority in the Parliament.

Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez will now work to form a coalition.

And for the first time, the far-right Vox Party gained seats.

CGTN’s Filio Kontrafouri reports.

A new day for Spain yet, without a new government. The question on everyone’s mind now was what alliances can Pedro Sanchez form with other parties if he is to govern the country. Reactions to the election results were mixed.

“I voted for Ciudadanos so I would obviously like them to join forces so we could have a mix of left and right, but I know that’s unlikely to happen because they don’t match in a lot of positions,” one voter said.

“I think it was a disaster, I think Spain is not ready for what happened,” said another.

Despite the smiles during his triumph speech, a solution will not be easy for Sanchez. He will either need the help of left-wing Podemos and regional parties, possibly even Catalan pro-independence parties or center-right Ciudadanos. Sanchez has barely hinted on his plans.

“The only condition we are going to put is respecting the constitution and promoting social justice, towards coexistence and political transparency,” Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez said.

Any negotiations will probably drag for long. That’s because, analysts said, Sanchez would not want to open his cards before the European and regional elections at the end of May. Fernando Fernandez agrees with most analysts that the Spanish prime minister will try to align with leftist Podemos.

“One, because Ciudadanos has a chance to fight with the people on the right. And they will not want to enter into a coalition with the socialist government with Pedro Sanchez. And two, because Pedro Sanchez is clearly a man on the left of the socialist party. He thinks that Spain needs to lean to the left and implement more radical leftist policies like the ones that have been implemented for the last ten years,” political economics analyst Fernando Fernandez said.

Right-wing parties cannot form a coalition. Ultra-nationalist Vox’s success to enter Spanish parliament is seen as a turning point for the far-right, which has been gaining popularity across Europe. Spain also has had to deal with the Catalan independence movement, a movement that has boosted Vox. Yet, the country’s problems go way beyond that.

Spain has been without a budget for 2019, after it was rejected in February and Sanchez called for a snap election. So, a government is needed as soon as possible as the economy, high unemployment and the stand-off between Madrid and Catalan separatists are only some of the many challenges any new government will have to face.

Remi Piet discusses Spain general election results and way forward

CGTN’s Asieh Namdar discusses Spain’s general election results with Remi Piet, Research Associate at University of Miami’s EU Center.