Spain's Sanchez weighs options after election win, outlook murky

Credit: Reuters Studio
Published on April 29, 2019 - Duration: 02:10s

Spain's Sanchez weighs options after election win, outlook murky

Spain's ruling Socialists were weighing options for forming a new government on Monday after they won a national election but fell short of a majority in a deeply fragmented parliament that could spell prolonged political uncertainty.

Mia Womersley reports

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Spain's Sanchez weighs options after election win, outlook murky

It may have been victory for Spain's Socialist Party, but despite seeing a near 50% bump in the number of seats, and seeing off a challenge from the right... Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez and co were weighing up their options for forming a new government on Monday (April 29) after they failed to secure a majority.

Reuters' Isla Binnie is in Madrid.

SOUNDBITE (English) REUTERS CORRESPONDENT, ISLA BINNIE, SAYING; "Sanchez has not put his cards on table and committed to anything at this point.

He even said when he came out to speak to his supporters on Sunday (April 28) night, very elated from the result, becuase he did win a good couple of million votes more than the nearest political force that was behind him, he said that he wouldn't put up what in Spanish politics is often called a safety corden around any options." The deputy PM said on Monday the socialists will try to govern alone.

If Sanchez does seek a coalition partner, he could opt for a complex alliance with fellow leftists Podemos.

Their leader said he would happily sign up to that.

But that would likely need support from at least one Catalan separatist lawmaker - a potentially divisive move.

Or he could risk upsetting his grassroots supporters by joining forces across the political divide with centre-right Ciudadanos.

The other headline to come out of Sunday's vote - the mixed success of Vox - the first far-right party to win seats in the country's parliament in significant numbers since late dictator Francisco Franco died in 1975.

In the end, they won 24 seats, fewer than expected, and split the right-wing vote.

SOUNDBITE (English) REUTERS CORRESPONDENT, ISLA BINNIE, SAYING; "It also means they are the fifth force, behind the other main parties.

This means they don't quite have the kingmaker role on the right wing that they may have wished to have.

So they are a significant presence, at the very least symbollically, but they won't have quite the key role in forming a government that seemed possible at certain points during the campaign." Any coalition talks could take weeks or even months, and could end in deadlock, and even further elections.

Plunging Europe's fifth largest economy into a new period of uncertainty.

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