On Friday, February 15, Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez called for snap parliamentary elections after Catalan parties joined conservative parties in the opposition in disapproving the center-left majority government’s annual national budget earlier this week. Elections were originally scheduled in 2020, but will now be held on April 28, 2019. This upcoming election will be Spain’s 3td general election in less than four years after 2015 and 2016.
Sanchez came into power when his center-left Spanish Socialist Workers’ Party (PSOE) alongside the leftist Podemos as well as other regionalist parties in Catalonia and the Basque region came together to seize political power from the conservative People’s Party (PP) in a confidence vote last year in 2018 after a corruption scandal involving the PP. Catalan parties were open to voting on the budget if legitimate self-determination was given to Catalonia, but Sanchez refused because the majority of the country wants to keep Spain united.
While the PSOE is leading in several opinion polls the two major conservative parties, the People’s Party and the Citizens party, are gaining traction and could possibly form a governing coalition with other parties dissatisfied with PSOE and their allies such as Podemos. Also, with their electoral gains in the region of Andalusia, the right-wing to far-right populist Vox party could make gains in national parliamentary seats.
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