The Spanish general elections, which take place this Sunday, will define the course that the country follows: keeping with Pedro Sánchez, leader of the Spanish Socialist Workers Party (PSOE) lead, or turn to the other ideological extreme with the seasoned politician Alberto Núñez Feijóo, who was the great winner of the municipal elections, there was on May 28, when the People’s Party (PP)of which he is at the head, prevailed in the results.
And it is that, precisely, the disaster suffered at the end of May by the left-wing president Pedro Sánchez It was what led him to make a decision that, for some even within his ranks, came as a surprise: advance the general elections, in which the representatives of the Congress of Deputies are elected, whose composition of forces will define the new president of the country.
Sánchez’s bet was risky, since it is estimated that Neither the PSOE nor the PP will have the necessary majorities to be able to govern without a coalition.
In that sense, the president bet that the electorate would remain with the memory of the possibility that Núñez Feijóo aligns himself with the ideas that Vox represents, Francoist-minded party that promotes policies that seek to end the trans law, the euthanasia law, the Ministry of Equality, abandon climate agreements, courts for violence against women, facilitate the expulsion of illegal migrants under the umbrella of protecting Spain, among others.
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However, the general discontent of the Spaniards with their Government and scheduling elections in the middle of the summer season, plays against them.
The other two groups in contention are Vox, under the leadership of Santiago Abascal, and the leftist platform Sumar, headed by Vice President Yolanda Díaz. Podemos and Ciudadanos disappeared from the electoral panorama, the two emerging parties that were born after the economic crisis of 2008. In this sense, it seems that Spain, little by little, has returned to the historic bipartisanship.
Although Sumar constitutes a new phenomenon in the electoral process, the party created by the also Minister of Labor and Social Economy, Yolanda Díaz Pérez, not only intends to bring together the discontents of the PSOE and integrate the followers of Podemos, but for some it obeys a strategy by Sánchez to prevent PSOE voters, given the wear and tear of the Government, choose not to go to the polls.
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Since none would obtain the absolute majority of 176 deputies, they will be forced to seek the game of coalitions
In any case, Díaz is the female figure in the electoral contest and, surely, it will be the ally of the president to try to constitute the majority and govern in Spain.
Vox, for its part, would enter into an alliance with the PP to achieve a majority in Congress, although Núñez Feijóo has been cautious with this option. Although, for now, he is not interested in the potential electorate associating him with a party of these characteristics, it seems that he will have no other alternative if he wants to govern.
So things, like none would obtain the absolute majority of 176 deputies, they will be forced to seek the game of coalitions.
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What do the PSOE and the PP offer?
He PSOE focuses its government program on providing young people with facilities for their academic and personal life, in measures for equality; in search of a just ecological transition and in an improvement of public health. It is this last point that coincides with all the matches.
The current ruling party argues that voting for the PP -and for Vox- will imply a setback «in equality, in rights and social services, in trade union and worker rights or in social justice”.
Pedro Sánchez, born in Madrid, at 51 years old, has been President of the Government of Spain since June 2018. Graduated in economics from the Complutense University of Madrid and with a doctorate in this same discipline from the Camilo José Cela University, he is married and the father of a family.
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On the other hand, the PP intends to provide «immediate tax relief» to families, as explained in its program, as well as ensure «the sustainability and sufficiency of the pension system for current and future generations» and solve the deficit of specialists at the health level.
On the other hand, it promises that it will repeal the Democratic Memory Law, which will replace it with a new norm that «reinforces the democratic principles and national reconciliation that founded the constitutional pact during the Transition.»
Alberto Núñez Feijóo, —who is publicly known by his mother’s last name— is from Orense, Galicia and is 62 years old. Graduated in Law from the Santiago de Compostela University, He has been the maximum leader of the PP in Galicia since 2006. Twice president of the regional government, he was elected on both occasions by an absolute majority. He has never lost an election and lives with his partner, Eva Cárdenas.
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Will there be replacement?
Despite the fact that President Sánchez plunged into an intense electoral campaign, which according to the latest surveys is keeping him alive, experts agree that It does not seem that Sánchez can overcome the results of the municipal elections where the right won overwhelmingly.
This was due to the leadership of Núñez Feijóo who, as president of the PP, forced him to take the lead in a very short time, after the departure of Pablo Casado.
His renowned management in Galicia, where he held the regional presidency between 2009 and 2022, was endorsed by the electorate in the last May elections. Despite the few weeks to prepare his party for the presidential elections, he took advantage of every minute and presented his government proposals, while greatly mobilizing the leaders of his political organization throughout the national territory.
Both Sánchez and Feijóo carry two political nightmares to their credit.
The president of Spain is blamed for his agreements with Basque ex-terrorists, with his support he has counted to manage his government. This gave rise to an alleged victim of a fine launching the phrase «Que te vote Txapote» at Sánchez on Spanish television, alluding to the ETA man, Xabier García Gaztelu, alias Txapote, who murdered Miguel Ángel Blanco and Gregorio Ordóñez, among 14 other people.
Despite the fact that Sánchez has nothing to do with him, the viral motto reminds him of having agreed with Basque independence parties to govern in 2022.
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The elections coincide with the summer holidays of the Spanish
For his part, Feijóo is remembered having shared a yacht trip with the Galician drug trafficker Marcial Dorado, subject that has jumped in the electoral campaign. A photograph of the political leader with Dorado is shown, while they were sailing in 1995. At that time, Feijóo, 34 years old, was vice president and general secretary of the Galician Health Service.
Sánchez brought up the subject a few days ago: «It is disturbing that he had such close relations with a drug trafficker.»
The photo came to light in 2013. The Conservative candidate explained the fact: “Do you think -he told a journalist who interviewed him- that if I knew what he was going to be accused of I would let me take photos or go to lunch with him? He had nothing to hide. Therefore, in no case did he have information on whether he had any relationship with certain businesses related to drug trafficking ”.
Feijóo assured at the time that he cut off the relationship with the drug trafficker when, in 1997, he learned that the National Court (highest court of justice) had opened an investigation against him. Dorado, known as The Godfather of the Ría de Arosa, has been free for several years due to lack of evidence, after being accused of smuggling tobacco and introducing hashish into Spain.
The truth is that the elections coincide with the summer holidays of the Spanish. This situation led to the demand for votes by mail, with 80.45% more than in the general elections of June 2016, when the record for maximum votes by this method in the country’s democratic history was set. And, without a doubt, it will exceed the number voted in the municipal elections last May by more than a million.
The coup against Pedro Sánchez in the May elections
JUANITA SAMPER OSPINA