Sánchez Wins in Spain But Could Need Separatists for Majority

Spanish party leaders Pedro Sánchez, Pablo Casado, Albert Rivera and Pablo Iglesias
Spanish party leaders Pedro Sánchez, Pablo Casado, Albert Rivera and Pablo Iglesias (PES/PP/Ciudadanos/Podemos)
  • Spanish prime minister Pedro Sánchez won the election on Sunday with 29 percent support for his center-left Socialist Party.
  • But his alliance with the far-left Podemos does not have a majority, forcing Sánchez to negotiate with parties from the Basque Country and Catalonia.
  • The conservative People’s Party imploded, losing half its votes to the center-right Citizens and the far-right Vox, which enters Congress for the first time. Read more

Sánchez Is the Reasonable Choice in Spain’s Election

Spanish prime minister Pedro Sánchez arrives in Salzburg, Austria for a meeting with other European socialist party leaders, September 19, 2018
Spanish prime minister Pedro Sánchez arrives in Salzburg, Austria for a meeting with other European socialist party leaders, September 19, 2018 (PES)

As long as Spain’s mainstream right would rather do a deal with the far right than the center-left, Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez’ Socialists are the most reasonable choice in the country’s general election on Sunday.

Sánchez’ only possible partners are the far-left Podemos and regionalists from the Basque Country, the Canary Islands, Catalonia and Valencia. Even if, as the polls predict, the Socialists expand their plurality in Congress, the next coalition government could be unwieldy.

Podemos will require concessions and its platform is full of unwise proposals, from abolishing spy agencies to nationalizing energy companies to withdrawing from international trade deals.

If the regionalists end up as kingmakers, they can be expected to leverage their position to extract more money from Madrid. The two largest parties in Catalonia insist they will only back Sánchez if he comes out in favor of a legal independence referendum. Sánchez insists he won’t.

But those complications are preferable to the alternative: a hard-right government that would need the Franco apologists in Vox for its majority and exacerbate the separatist crisis in Catalonia by once again suspending self-government in this part of Spain. Read more

Rutte Loses Senate Majority, Gains for Dutch Far Right

Dutch government buildings in The Hague
Dutch government buildings in The Hague (Shutterstock/Michael Regeer)
  • Dutch voters elected provincial deputies on Wednesday, who will elect a new Senate in May.
  • The four parties in Prime Minister Mark Rutte’s ruling coalition are projected to lose their majority in the upper chamber.
  • Far-right partied posted their best result to date, taking 21 percent of the votes. Read more

Theresa May Survives Leadership Challenge from Brexiteers

British prime minister Theresa May attends the G20 summit in Hamburg, Germany, July 8, 2017
British prime minister Theresa May attends the G20 summit in Hamburg, Germany, July 8, 2017 (The Prime Minister’s Office/Jay Allen)
  • British prime minister Theresa May has survived a confidence vote called by members of her party who feel she has mishandled Brexit.
  • In a sign of how deeply Britain’s departure from the EU has divided Conservatives, 200 lawmakers voted for May and 117 against. Read more

May’s Brexit Deal Splits Conservative Party

British prime minister Theresa May attends a NATO summit in Brussels, July 11, 2018
British prime minister Theresa May attends a NATO summit in Brussels, July 11, 2018 (Shutterstock/Alexandros Michailidis)
  • Seven members of the British government, including Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab, have resigned in protest to Theresa May’s Brexit deal.
  • They — and many Conservatives — object to a potentially indefinite “backstop” in the withdrawal agreement that would keep the United Kingdom in a customs union with the EU in order to avoid closing the border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. Read more

May Wins Cabinet Support for Brexit Treaty

British prime minister Theresa May speaks with ministers at her Chequers country retreat in Buckinghamshire, England, February 22
British prime minister Theresa May speaks with ministers at her Chequers country retreat in Buckinghamshire, England, February 22 (MoD)
  • British prime minister Theresa May has won her cabinet’s support for a withdrawal agreement with the EU.
  • The challenge now is getting the treaty approved by her ruling Conservative Party and its allies in Northern Ireland. Read more

Divided Congress After Midterm Elections in America

The United States Capitol in Washington DC
The United States Capitol in Washington DC (Shutterstock/Brandon Bourdages)
  • Democrats are poised to take control of the House of Representatives after midterm elections in the United States.
  • Republicans maintain their majority in the Senate. Read more