Madrid president calls for early election, scraps coalition deal

Madrid, Mar 10 (efe-epa).- The Spanish capital Madrid is facing the prospect of early elections after the conservative regional president ended a coalition deal with a center-right party in a bid to outmaneuver a possible no-confidence motion.

Isabel Díaz Ayuso, a divisive politician from the Popular Party (PP), dissolved the local assembly and called for a snap regional election on 4 May. She dismissed members of the center-right Ciudadanos party from her cabinet, fearing a no-confidence motion.

The decision came after Ciudadanos backed a motion from the Socialist Party (PSOE) to oust the PP from the regional and municipal chambers in Murcia, southeast Spain.

“If I don’t take control of this situation, Ciudadanos and PSOE would have presented a no-confidence motion, something they have talked about on various occasions and it would have been disastrous for the Community of Madrid,” she told the press Wednesday.

In a last-ditch effort to block early elections, the Madrid’s branches of PSOE and Más País, a small left-wing party, filed a no-confidence motion against Ayuso.

The no-confidence motion in Murcia sent tremors through the PP, a bastion of Spanish conservatism that also governs with Ciudadanos in Castile and León and Andalusia, where it is propped up by the far-right Vox.

One of the PP’s most prominent figures, Ayuso is a vocal critic of the national government, a coalition led by prime minister Pedro Sánchez’s PSOE and the leftist Unidas Podemos.

During the pandemic, she has frequently pushed back against Covid-19 recommendations outlined by the central government.

Madrid has some of the most relaxed restrictions in all of Europe.

PSOE won the most seats in Madrid’s regional assembly in the May 2019 elections but fell short of a majority, paving the way for Ayuso’s PP to work with Ciudadanos with the help of the far-right Vox.EFE-EPA

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