ANDALUCÍA'S regional presidential candidate has struck a deal with far-right outfit Vox to enable him to govern in coalition with centre-right Ciudadanos, signalling a complete about-turn in strategy for the...
Hung Parliament in Andalucía following Sunday's vote
THE socialists have won the regional elections in Andalucía, but only just – and far-right party Vox has soared in the ranks, leading to concerns among the PSOE-led national government.
Current regional president Susana Díaz (PSOE) may be forced to resign, although who ends up governing Andalucía will depend upon coalition agreements between parties, since their presence in the southern territory's Parliament is almost level-pegging.
For an outright majority, any one party would have needed to gain 55 seats, and the reigning PSOE has lost 14 of last year's 47, now down to just 33.
The second-largest outfit in Andalucía's Parliament is the right-wing PP – which was in power in national government until June this year – with 26 seats, meaning a coalition with centre-right Ciudadanos (21 seats) and far-right Vox (12 seats) could place the region under conservative rule.
Adelante Andalucía, a combination of left-wing Podemos and other leftist independent parties, gained 17 seats, but even if they were willing to form a coalition with Susana Díaz's PSOE, they would still be five MPs short of a majority.
Only 59% of the eligible voting public cast their ballot in the regional election, which is only open to Spanish nationals.
Pro-animal party PACMA has doubled its vote numbers from 31,958 the previous elections in 2015, to 69,669, or around 10% of those of Ciudadanos, who gained 659,631.
Adelante Andalucía earned 584,040 votes, the PP 749,275 and the PSOE 1,009,243.
Vox, which failed to gain a single seat in 2015 – a year after its creation – earned 395,978 votes.
Its name means 'voice' in Latin, and of the 100 points in its manifesto, those which are likely to have attracted ballots include an exemption from income tax for contributory pensions and a maximum of 20% for all incomes up to €60,000 a year.
But as well as pledging to 'illegalise parties that threaten the unity of Spain' – a clear reference to Catalunya's pro-secession brigade – and promises to 'tackle immigration with an iron hand', in relation to sub-Saharan migrants travelling to Spain by boat in an attempt to escape poverty or conflict.
France's Front National leader Marine Le Pen has congratulated Vox on its success, whilst the French and German press and the BBC have run headlines about how the far-right has managed to gain a foothold in a Spanish Parliament for the first time since the death of dictator General Franco in 1975.
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