August 23, 2019
Latest News

Busy day for Spanish voters as country holds local, regional and EU elections

Madrid, May 26 (efe-epa).- Spanish voters on Sunday are heading out to polling stations for the second time in less than a month as the country holds regional, municipal and European Parliament elections all on the same day.

The full results of the voting are not expected until the early hours of Monday morning given the scale of the operation but political observers will be keeping a close track of the outcome to see whether the upset in the snap general election of Apr. 28 continues its trend.

Spain's acting Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez gambled when he called those early elections but it paid off as his Socialist Party (PSOE) emerged with 123 of the 350 seats in the lower chamber of Parliament, the Madrid-based Congress of Deputies, while the Popular Party, a long-time powerhouse of Spanish conservatism, tumbled in stature amid competition from center-right and far-right parties.

The 47-year-old PSOE leader was the first of the major political parties to come out and vote on Sunday morning.

"Today is a very important day. We participate to continue advancing in social justice, coexistence and democratic regeneration in municipalities, communities, and autonomous cities, across the continent," Sánchez said on Twitter. "Today we decide the future of Europe and Spain for the next few years."

Around 35.3 million people are eligible to vote in the country's municipal elections while 37.3 million can vote in the EU elections, given the register includes non-Spanish EU citizens living in Spain.

With voting open between 9am-8pm in 23,194 polling stations across the country, Spaniards will also elect aspiring mayors in 8,131 municipalities ranging from rural villages to major cities like Barcelona and Madrid.

As she cast her vote, Manuela Carmena, the incumbent Madrid mayor, said: "Today Madrid makes the best homage to democracy: to participate. No-one stay at home, Madrid is better when it can count on everyone. I've already voted."

Pollsters have tipped the PSOE to be the most voted party in big cities, like Valencia, Zaragoza, Seville and Malaga.

Some 12 of Spain's 17 autonomous communities are also up for grabs.

For the PP, the elections will come as a challenge to see whether they can hold onto power in the regional assemblies they currently control, such as the Community of Madrid, Castile and Leon, La Rioja and Murcia.

It remains to be seen, too, whether the conservative group, led by Pablo Casado, will crack deals with business-friendly Ciudadanos (Citizens, C's) and the far-right Vox, as it did in regional elections in Andalusia back in Dec. 2018 to force PSOE out of power.

PSOE will hope to ride its wave of popularity and maintain its dominance in regional assemblies in Aragon, Castilla-La Mancha, Extremadura and Asturias. The center-left group may also be capable of causing additional upset by pushing the PP farther to the sidelines.

Both the major parties in Spain will likely need to collaborate with smaller parties.

In Catalonia, the battlefield is a little different.

There are no regional elections this time around, but voters in Barcelona have been called to elect a mayor with the post being fought over by the incumbent, left-wing Ada Colau, and Ernest Maragall, a pro-Catalan separatist candidate.

The vote for the City Hall is a litmus test for political sentiment in Spain's second-largest city as the fallout of an illegal referendum in Catalonia back in 2017 continues to dog Spanish politics. Twelve leading Catalan politicians are currently on trial for their alleged involvement in the separatist bid.

Carles Puigdemont, the former regional president of Catalonia who lives in self-exile in Brussels to avoid charges of rebellion and sedition, is running in the EU elections.

Beyond Spain, Sánchez will look to cement his influence in the EU as Spain elects 54 members of the European Parliament.

Given the decline of center-left parties in countries like France or Germany, the Spanish PSOE could become the most important force in the EU's legislative chamber.EFE-EPA

mt/jt

News history
Bangkok backpackers' mecca to be revamped by Thai authorities

By Gaspar Ruiz-Canela.

Myanmar's Rohingyas living in 'appalling conditions,' says HRW

Yangon, Myanmar, Aug 23 (efe-epa).- The Rohingya population in Myanmar’s Rakhine state is living in "appalling" conditions, while those responsible for the...

North Korea 'ready for dialog or standoff' with the US

Seoul, Aug 23 (efe-epa).- North Korea's foreign minister said Friday that his country is ready for both dialog or standoff with the United States, who he...

Tokyo asks Seoul to reconsider termination of military intel-sharing pact

Tokyo, Aug 23 (efe-epa).- Japan on Friday lamented the decision by South Korea to pull out of a bilateral military information-sharing agreement and asked...

US, Vietnam censure China for interfering in Hanoi’s territorial waters

Washington, Aug 22 (efe-epa).- The United States on Thursday accused China of interfering with Vietnam’s exclusive economic zone in the South China Sea and...

Trump returns to G7 with Johnson as ally, Iran and China on agenda

Washington, USA, Aug 23 (efe-epa).- The president of the United States will arrive at his second G7 Summit this weekend in Biarritz, France, with the new...

International community calls for saving of the Amazon, engulfed in fire

Bogota, Aug 22 (efe-epa).- The fires raging in Brazil's Amazon rainforest have fueled global fears of environmental devastation, the climate crisis and the...

Google deactivates hundreds of YouTube channels linked to Hong Kong protests

San Francisco, USA, Aug 22 (efe-epa).- Google reported Thursday that it had disabled 210 YouTube channels that were part of a coordinated attempt to post...

Brexit, US trade deal on Abe's agenda ahead of G7 summit

By Antonio Hermosín Gandul.

Mexican president: Legal sabotage being mounted against new airport

Mexico City, Aug 22 (efe-epa).- Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador on Thursday complained that the political opposition has been engaging in...

4 dead, 100-plus injured by lightning in Poland

Warsaw, Aug 22 (efe-epa).- Four people, including two children, died on Thursday and more than 100 were injured by lightning strikes during a thunderstorm...

Brazil's president doubles down on criticism of NGOs operating in Amazon

Brasilia, Aug 22 (efe-epa).- President Jair Bolsonaro said Thursday that while he did not have evidence that non-governmental organizations were behind the...

Giraffes get protection on international trade for 1st time

Geneva, Aug 22 (efe-epa).- Giraffes were added on Thursday for the first time to a protection mechanism that restricts their international trade in response...

Protect Paradise, the hope to end plastic pollution in Venezuelan beaches

By Héctor Pereira

Hong Kong gov't: protesters ad campaign gross exaggeration

Hong Kong, Aug 22 (efe-epa).- A campaign launched by Hong Kong activists to rally international support for anti-Beijing protests that have gripped the city...

Macron: Irish backstop indispensable

Paris, Aug 22 (efe-epa) .- UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson met Emmanuel Macron in France Thursday for Brexit talks during which the French President...

Italy's president gives parties more time to form gov't

Rome, Aug 22 (efe-epa).- President Sergio Mattarella said Thursday that he will give Italy's political parties until early next week to try to form a new...

Seoul believes US, North Korea talks will soon resume

Seoul, Aug 22 (efe-epa).- Seoul on Thursday said negotiations between North Korea and the United States may resume soon, following a visit to South Korea by...

North Korea not interested in talks amid 'military threats'

Seoul, Aug 22 (efe-epa).- North Korea said Thursday that it was not interested in dialog while the United States and South Korea were engaged in "military...

Still unsafe for Rohingyas to return to Myanmar, Amnesty warns

Bangkok Desk, Aug 22 (efe-epa).- Human rights organization Amnesty International warned Thursday that it was still unsafe for members of the Rohingya ethnic...

Rohingyas refuse to return to Myanmar

Teknaf, Bangladesh, Aug 22 (EFE).- A second attempt to repatriate some 1,037 Rohingya refugee families who live in Bangladesh following a mass exodus from...

Police killings of civilians reaches new heights in Rio de Janeiro

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Aug 21 (efe-epa).- Rio de Janeiro recorded a 49 percent increase in civilian deaths at the hands of police in July compared to the...

Nur-Sultan, Aug 21 (EFE).- The foreign ministers of the five Central Asian countries met here Wednesday with US Under Secretary of State David Hale to...

Putin says Russia must respond to threat of new US missile

Helsinki, Aug 21 (efe-epa).- Russian President Vladimir Putin made an appeal here Wednesday to the United States to resume arms-control negotiations even as...

I agree Welcome to news4europe.eu. We use cookies to improve your online experience. Find out more.