Spanish prime minister celebrates the ‘failure’ of the right at July 23 general elections

ACTING Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez celebrated what he described as the ‘failure’ of the right at Sunday’s general elections, and suggested that a new progressive government could be formed despite the inconclusive result of the polls. 

“There are many more of us who want Spain to continue to advance than those who want the path of decline set out by the Popular Party with Vox,” the Socialist Party leader said on Sunday evening, in reference to the two right-wing groups. 

“There are more, many more of us who want Spain to advance and that will continue to be the case,” he added. 

Sanchez also spoke about his controversial decision to call early elections in the wake of his party’s poor showing at the May 28 local and regional polls. He said that the July 23 vote was designed to let society decide which direction it should take: whether it should advance, or decline, as had been proposed, he argued, by the ‘regressive bloc’ represented by the PP and Vox. 

He also referred to some of the right’s more controversial policies, such as Vox’s plans to roll back policies aimed at gender equality and to support LGBTQ+ rights. “Sexism, and the decline in rights and freedoms, have failed,” he stated. 

It was far from clear on Monday morning what will happen now in the wake of the inconclusive election result. The PP and Vox were expected to win enough seats for a majority, but in the end they fell short. Few other parties are willing to lend their support to the far-right Vox, meaning that deadlock in parliament is likely. A repeat election could fall around Christmas, according to parliamentary schedules.

As for the Socialists, a repeat of the current coalition deal is possible – albeit with new leftist alliance Sumar rather than Unidas Podemos. But as is the case now, the parties would need the support of smaller groups to form a government and to pass legislation, including parties who back Catalan independence such as Junts pel Si (Together for Yes). 

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