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Election year in Spain and Gibraltar

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Neil Hesketh / Rachel Haynes

Friday, December 29, 2023, 19:35

2023 was an election year in Spain and Gibraltar. Residents across Spain were invited to vote to elect new representatives at city halls in May, and the results prompted Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez to call a general election in July. Meanwhile, the people of Gibraltar went to the polls in October.

89% of the population remains under the PP mayor in the city council election

Francisco de la Torre, who is in his 80s, has voted for another term as mayor of Malaga.

Francisco de la Torre, who is in his 80s, has voted for another term as mayor of Malaga.

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Municipal elections were held across Spain on May 28, with voters, many of them expats, choosing the councilors who will run city halls for the next four years. As a result, the previous shift to the right continued, with more city halls falling into the hands of the conservative Partido Popular (PP), which won 508 councilors in 103 municipalities in Malaga province, and the PSOE with a total of 439 seats. Obtained. .

Mijas, the last big city on the Costa del Sol to have a Socialist mayor after elections, also passed into PP hands following a successful no-confidence vote in November. Partido Popular currently governs 48 municipalities with a total population of over 1.5 million people, representing 89% of the state’s population.

Sanchez returns to power after controversial deal

Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez and his team on election night in July.

Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez and his team on election night in July.

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Fearful of a rightward shift in local elections in May, Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez called for early general elections. The election date was set for July 23rd, in a bet that the sooner the better. It was Spain’s first election during the summer holidays, and most observers expected a low turnout and a conservative victory.

In the end, even Sánchez was surprised when the combined votes of the PP and Vox failed to win an overall majority of right-wing MPs. To become prime minister again, Sánchez has begun work on assembling a coalition with support from left-wing and nationalist parties, including Catalan separatists. The price of support from Catalonia was pardons from the Junz party of former Catalan president Carles Puigdemont, who remains in self-imposed exile in Belgium, among those convicted in the illegal 2017 independence referendum. .

Horrified right-wingers rallied their support every night at the PSOE Socialist Party offices and every weekend in the city’s main squares, seeing it as a betrayal of Sánchez, who himself had always opposed amnesty.

With separatist votes guaranteed (for now) by the promise of a future amnesty law, Sanchez was safely in office by the end of November and re-elected in a coalition with Smar under Yolanda Díaz. The center-left PSOE government was inaugurated. However, there was no place for the Podemos party at the cabinet table. As Christmas approached, they split from Schmard in Congress.

Picardo regains power

Fabian Picardo celebrates GSLP/Freedom Alliance's close election victory in Gibraltar.

Fabian Picardo celebrates GSLP/Freedom Alliance’s close election victory in Gibraltar.

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Gibraltar also held a general election this year. On October 12, Fabian Picardo’s GSLP Liberal Alliance won by a narrow margin, winning 9 of the 17 seats in parliament with 49.9% of the vote.

Keith Azzopardi’s GSD secured 48% of the vote, but remained in opposition with eight seats. Picardo will be serving his fourth term as Prime Minister of Gibraltar.

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