Young, urbane prime minister awaits Spain

Credit: Reuters Studio
Published on April 25, 2019 - Duration: 02:03s

Young, urbane prime minister awaits Spain

As they prepare to vote in the most uncertain national election in decades, Spaniards can safely predict one thing regardless of political persuasion - that their next prime minister will be young, cosmopolitan, white and male.

Francesca Lynagh reports.

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Young, urbane prime minister awaits Spain

As Spain heads to the polls this weekend, there's no clear outright winner.

But as Reuters' Ingrid Melander explains, there's one thing that is for certain.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) REUTERS' INGRID MELANDER SAYING: ''The next prime minster will be young, will be cosmopolitan and he will be a man.

There's basically a generational change in that candidates are younger than they used to be.

But they all in a way look very similar.

There was a first TV debate and you could see three of them all dressed in dark suits and ties, so there's kind of a pattern.

'' Many people in Spain feel underrepresented by the largely clean-cut, urban selection of candidates - provoking a protest in Madrid a few weeks ago by people from more rural areas who feel forgotten by politics.

The lack of female representation and racial diversity among the candidates has also raised a few eyebrows.

Pedro Sanchez - the outgoing prime minister - describes his government as feminist as it includes a majority of female ministers.

But few Spanish women have made it to the political frontline.

Surveys show up to four in ten voters are still undecided heading into the election, and no single party is close to winning a majority.

That could make for complicated coalition talks - especially because of the parties' differing views on Catalonia.

The main candidates clashed on national TV about how to handle Catalonia's independence drive and accused each other of lying.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) REUTERS' INGRID MELANDER SAYING: ''It's all about Catalonia, whatever the issue is, especially the candidates on the right will always bring it back to Catalonia, because their main line of attack against socialist prime minister Pedro Sanchez, who is the favorite in the opinion polls, is to say that he hasn't been hard enough or taken a strong enough line against the separatists in Catalonia who want to break away from Spain.'' The polls open on Sunday (April 28).

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