Spain: Right-wing Vox party becomes kingmaker in Castile and León regional parliament

This result is historic, hailed the leader of the populist Vox party, Santiago Abascal

editor: REMIX NEWS
author: John Cody
Vox party leader Santiago Abascal speaks during a session at Parliament in Madrid, Spain, Wednesday June 30, 2021. (Susana Vera/Pool via AP)

The right-wing, populist Vox party has won 13 seats in the regional parliament of Castile and León, a result which effectively makes the party the kingmaker in the formation of the autonomous community’s government.

The center-right People’s Party (PP) came first without obtaining an absolute majority in Sunday’s election, and thus will need the support of the Vox lawmakers to govern effectively. PP received 31.4 percent of the vote, giving them a slender victory of Pedro Sanchez’ Spanish Socialist Workers’ Party (PSOE) who obtained 30 percent.

The rise of Vox saw the party receive 17.6 percent of the vote and will now occupy a significant minority of 13 seats in the 81-seat regional parliament. In contrast, PP will have 31 seats while PSOE will have 28 seats.

The Vox party leader, Santiago Abascal, hailed the result as historic, and said the party now had a duty to participate in the formation of a government, hinting at an alliance with the PP.

Vox won’t just support the executive from the outside

The current president of Castile and León and leader of the PP, Alfonso Fernández Mañueco, claimed that he wanted to hold a dialogue with everyone.

Vox has enjoyed a meteoric rise electorally speaking in the last four years. Causing a political earthquake in Spain at the end of 2018 when it entered a regional parliament for the first time in Andalusia, the party quickly became the third-largest political force in the Spanish parliament in 2019.

The populist party already supports the ruling PP in Andalusia and the Madrid region but is not involved in the government. In Castile and León, the party has made it known in recent weeks that it will not be content to support the executive from the outside.

Elections with a national dimension

These early elections were called in December by Alfonso Fernández Mañueco himself, who had hoped to strengthen his majority in the regional parliament after splitting with his allies in the center-right Ciudadanos party.

The Spanish regions have broad powers and regional elections take on a national dimension. Pedro Sánchez has also supported the candidate of his party several times, as have the leaders of the major Spanish formations.

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