Spain election: Socialists win with no majority as far-right makes gains

World Today

Acting Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez and his socialist party have won Sunday’s general election but failed to secure a majority. The far-right made big gains however, in a vote that did not break the on-going political deadlock.

CGTN’s Filio Kontrafouri reports.

Spain enters a new phase of political uncertainty. Sunday’s vote complicates the stalemate between the country’s political forces in a bid to form a stable government. And in a nation that’s been divided and gripped by voter fatigue, citizens demanded that their leaders find a way forward.

For socialist leader and winner of the election Pedro Sanchez, calling the vote was a gamble. Instead of strengthening his hand, his party got fewer seats than in April’s election.

Sanchez cannot govern alone and as he addressed a crowd of supporters Sunday night he offered no clear path as to how he plans to move ahead.

“Democracy has summoned all political parties from tomorrow to unblock the political situation so that there is a progressive government led by the Socialist Party,” said Prime Minister, Pedro Sanchez.

Spain’s right bloc got a boost with the far-right Vox party benefiting the most. With its fierce nationalist views and tough stance on Catalan separatism, it more than doubled its seats in parliament and has become Spain’s third-largest political force.

Journalist Jesus Manana says Spain’s political landscape has become more complex than ever,  with the traditional two-party system being replaced by a more fragmented picture. The emergence of smaller parties followed the 2008 global financial crisis.

“There are people that thought that this model would be temporary. But every time we vote we prove that this multi-party system is here to stay. So it’s up to the politicians to assume that the change in this political reality asks for the ability to compromise and forget about any red lines,” said Jesus Manana, Editorial Director of Info Libre Newspaper.

Pedro Sanchez will be facing some tough negotiations in the weeks and even months ahead. Negotiating a coalition with his natural ally, leftist Podemos still leaves him short of a majority and he’ll still need help from regional parties. And a grand coalition with his conservative rivals will be an even harder manoeuver to pull off.