Despite Spain’s far right Vox Party’s recent rise in power, the country’s Socialist party still remains in the majority, for now. According to NBC News, the center-left Socialist party won its re-election on Sunday and secured nearly 29% of the vote. Spain is the continent’s fourth largest economy, so the effects that this new government will have are yet to be seen. At the same time, the far-right Vox party managed to claim 10 percent of the vote, as well as 24 seats in parliament. This is the first time since the 1980s that a far-right political party will hold legitimate power in the country’s national government. Despite this recent rise in power, the Socialists still hold the majority, the only problem is that they only have 123 out of 35 seats in the countries Congress of Deputies. In order to pass any major legislation, they will need to form alliances with several other smaller rival parties. Because of this, the country’s current prime minister, Pedro Sanchez will also need to barter with these smaller parties in order to ensure that his administration remains intact and that he will stay in power for the entirety of his four-year term.
“We made it happen”, said Sanchez in a recent speech to supporters. “We’ve sent out the message that we don’t want to regress or reverse. We want a country that looks forwards and advances”. When asked about the far-right’s recent rise to power, Vox party leader Santiago Abascal stated that his party had “lived up to its promise to begin a reconquest of Spain”. According to The Guardian, this is in reference to the long campaign against Moorish rule, which concluded in 1492 and culminated in the expulsion of Spain’s Jews.
In these trying times, it is refreshing to see an election carried out where one side doesn’t claim election fraud against the other. Although this election did have its share of controversies in regard to the countries future, it was clear that the people of Spain had their voices heard, and that those voices led to the results we saw last weekend. Any election will have its fair share of drama and intrigue, but it’s nice to see Spain treat its election with such maturity and composure. A far-right party gained some legislative power for the first time in 30 years, and though that may not be good news for the current majority party, it is still clear that the Vox Party made a valiant effort and that effort paid off for them.
Spain’s political history has been anything but cohesive. The political landscape is incredibly fragmented due to the Socialist party and the Conservative party taking turns in power in recent years. Because of this, it has been increasingly difficult to form cross-party alliances. A “splintered” parliamentary outcome for a nationwide election led to a repeat election one year later. The Socialist party, which took power last June increased its seats from 84 to 123. In total, 5 political parties got more than 20 seats in parliament, something no one could have predicted.
It is unclear where Spain will go from here. Perhaps the far-right will continue their rise to power, maybe socialism will remain on top, no one knows for sure. Though it is clear that the most recent election was a success from a country-wide standpoint, the major political parties still remain very much at odds. The country itself may be at peace with the rest of the world, but its own government cannot say the same with regards to political cooperation. This election showed that politics is unpredictable, and you never truly know how a country will vote. As made clear by last Sunday, the results may surprise you.
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