- Socialist Party leader Pedro Sánchez has won a second term as prime minister of Spain.
- He fell short of a absolute majority in Congress on Sunday but needed only more votes in favor than against a the second ballot on Tuesday.
- Left-wing separatists from the Basque Country and Catalonia abstained, allowing Sánchez to scrape by with a majority of two — the smallest ever for a Spanish prime minister.
- Sánchez’ will be the first coalition government since the Civil War and the most left-wing government since the fall of the Republic. Read more “Sánchez Wins Second Term as Prime Minister of Spain”
Spain’s electoral commission is trying to sidestep the courts in order to ban Catalan separatist leaders from office.
The commission ordered Catalan president Quim Torra to step down on Friday, although he is appealing a similar ban from office by the Catalan High Court.
It also barred separatist party leader Oriol Junqueras from taking his seat in the European Parliament, despite the European Court of Justice ruling that he must. Read more “Spain’s Electoral Commission Sidesteps Courts to Ban Catalan Leaders”
Catalonia’s Republican Left entered talks to support Pedro Sánchez’ second bid for power with three goals:
- A resumption of dialogue between the Catalan and Spanish governments.
- An amnesty for party leader Oriol Junqueras and the eight other separatist leaders who are in prison.
- A legal referendum on Catalan independence.
They got a “yes” on the first, a “maybe” on the second and a “no” on the third.
They are also promised more autonomy in the coalition agreement Sánchez has negotiated with the far-left party Podemos.
It’s not a bad deal. The Republicans should take it. Read more “Sánchez Offers Catalonia a Good Deal”
Spain’s Pedro Sánchez is closing in on a deal with Catalan separatists to remain in power.
The caretaker prime minister has the support of the far left to form a new government, but he also needs the backing of regional parties, who hold the balance of power in Congress.
Sánchez’ Socialist Party does not have a majority of its own. Read more “Sánchez Close to Forming Coalition Government in Spain”
On the same day Europe’s highest court ruled in favor of the imprisoned former Catalan vice president and separatist leader Oriol Junqueras, who has been prevented by Spain from taking his seat in the European Parliament, the Catalan High Court banned the region’s president, Quim Torra, from public office for refusing to remove separatist symbols from government buildings during the most recent election campaign.
Torra is appealing the decision to the Supreme Court and will remain in office until it has ruled.
Junqueras remains in prison, but the European ruling gives hope to self-exiled Catalan politicians Toni Comín and Carles Puigdemont, who like him were elected to the European Parliament in May but haven’t been allowed by Spain to take their seats.
What the two decisions have in common is that they reveal how politicized the Spanish justice system is. Read more “Catalan Rulings Expose Politicization of Spanish Judiciary”
Since I moved to Barcelona and started writing about Catalan independence three years ago, I’ve worried that Spain’s refusal to engage with the movement would radicalize it and hollow out the middle in Catalan politics.
This is now borne out by research. Read more “Spain’s Response to Catalan Separatism Has Failed”
21 seats short of a majority in Congress, Spain’s Pedro Sánchez still need either the support or acquiescence of smaller parties to serve a second term as prime minister.
So far, the signs are not encouraging. Read more “Now the Hard Part: Convincing the Catalans”
Maciej Szpunar, an advocate general at the European Court of Justice, has argued in favor of Catalan politicians who were elected to the European Parliament in May but have been prevented by the Spanish government from taking their seats.
Former regional president Carles Puigdemont and former regional health minister Toni Comín, both of the center-right Together for Catalonia party, have been living in self-imposed exile in Belgium since 2017 to avoid arrest for leading a failed independence bid that year.
Oriol Junqueras, the former leader of the Republican Left, stayed in Spain and was sentenced to thirteen years in prison last month for misuse of public funds and sedition against the Spanish state. Read more “Top European Lawyer Argues in Favor of Catalan Politicians”
Last night, I argued the problem in Spain is that the country has a multiparty system but the two major parties, the Socialists and the conservatives, still have a two-party-system mindset.
Look no further than José Luis Ábalos, organizational secretary of the Socialist Party, who on Monday insulted the very parties his needs to form a government. Read more “Spanish Socialists Offend Parties They Need to Govern”
With no party or bloc winning a majority in Spain’s Congress on Sunday, the country’s politicians need to finally come to grips with coalition politics.
The center-left Socialists and center-right People’s Party are used to alternating in power. They split 80 percent of the votes as recently as 2011. But Spain hasn’t been a two-party system since 2015, when Podemos (“We Can”) on the far left and the Ciudadanos (“Citizens”) on the center-right took one out of three votes between them.
This pattern has now been confirmed in four elections in as many years and still the old parties continue as though nothing has changed. Read more “Spain Better Get Used to Multiparty Democracy”