Record results for Spain’s far-right Vox in regional elections
Madrid, Feb 14 (EFE).- Spain’s far-right party Vox achieved record results in a Sunday regional ballot that could see the hardline suit form a coalition with the conservative People’s Party (PP), which fell short of a majority in a region it has ruled for 35 years.
The PP had brought forward the Castile and Leon (northeast) elections confident that the demise of center-right party Ciudadanos, until now its partner in government, would secure them a comfortable majority.
The PP won the most votes securing 31 seats, two more than it had but still not enough for an absolute majority, meaning a coalition with far-right party Vox, which secured 13 seats, will be required to govern.
Socialists PSOE took 28 seats, with over 99% of the ballot counted.
Far-left party Unidas Podemos lost seats and votes and did not even come close to forming a majority with the ‘España Vacía’ parties (Empty Spain — a reference to the swathes of unpopulated regions in central Spain).
The only possible combination to form a government would be a PP-Vox coalition which would bring the number of lawmakers to 44, three above the 41 needed for a parliamentary majority in Castile and Leon.
In a victorious speech, Vox leader Santiago Abascal said that to back the PP, his party candidate Juan García-Gallardo would have to be appointed vice president of the regional government.
“Vox has the right and duty to form a government in Castile and Leon,” Abascal told supporters following the election results.
So far, Vox has backed PP-led administrations from the fringes, but if Alfonso Fernández Mañueco, PP leader in Castile and Leon, accepts, it would be the first time Vox would have ministerial positions in a regional executive.
“I am going to dialogue with everyone, to form a government that includes everyone and serves everyone,” Mañueco said.
Turnout reached 63.4 percent, close to the 65.79% recorded in 2019.EFE