32509
Spain Holds Landmark Election
International

Spain Holds Landmark Election

Spaniards are voting in a landmark election that will see more than two parties compete for power for the first time in decades.
Newcomers Podemos, an anti-austerity party, and Citizens, a liberal party, are challenging the ruling Popular Party and the Socialists.
Opinion polls have suggested Premier Mariano Rajoy’s PP is narrowly ahead. While he has been in power, Spain has emerged from a financial crisis into a period of economic growth, BBC reported.
The conservative PP currently has a majority in Spain’s lower house of parliament.
New parties Citizens and Podemos are fielding national candidates for the first time. Both look set to take a large chunk of the vote, ending the power monopoly of Spain’s traditional heavyweights.
It is almost certain that no party will get a majority of MPs in parliament, BBC says, meaning some form of coalition will have to be agreed.
Polling stations opened at 09:00 local time (0800 GMT) and close at 1900 GMT. Exit polls are expected minutes afterwards and complete results are due two days later.
  Return to Growth
The economy, corruption allegations and a separatist drive in the prosperous northeastern region of Catalonia have been dominant issues in the election.
Rajoy’s administration adopted unpopular austerity measures and job reforms that have been credited with returning the Spanish economy to growth.
However, unemployment remains high at 21%, the second-highest rate in the EU after Greece, although it has fallen from its 2013 peak of 27%.
The PP has also been damaged by corruption scandals.
The central government in Madrid has also had to contend with an attempt by Catalonia to break away from the rest of Spain.
Pro-independence parties in Catalonia won an absolute majority in regional elections in September and a month later passed a motion to begin the process of declaring independence.
Spain’s Constitutional Court has revoked that motion, but Catalonia’s leaders said they would ignore it.
Rajoy has vowed to quash the threat to Spanish unity, but other parties favor negotiations to devolve more power to the region, which accounts for about a fifth of Spain’s economic output.
He has also raised questions about his future by including his deputy, Soraya Saenz de Santamaria, on campaign posters and fielding her in his place during a leaders’ TV debate.
His campaigning has also not been easy—a teenager punched him in the face during a visit to the town of Pontevedra in the northwest.

Short URL : http://goo.gl/EFcF4Q
  1. http://goo.gl/gQJmiP
  • http://goo.gl/OlUf1a
  • http://goo.gl/p7N08V
  • http://goo.gl/Y5rgzf
  • http://goo.gl/OkW69S

You can also read ...

43 Taliban Killed in US Air Raids
Some 43 Taliban militants, including a top commander, have...
Turkey, Russia, Iran Work on New De-Escalation Zone in Syria
Turkey, Russia and Iran are working on setting up a new de-...
A Kurdish man shows his inked index finger after voting in an independence referendum in Erbil, Iraq on Sept. 25
Iraqi Kurds cast ballots on Monday in their autonomous region...
German Vote Could Harm Merkel-Macron Deal on Europe
Weakened by the worst result for her party since 1949 and...
French Conservatives Retain Senate Majority as Macron Party Suffers Setback
French President Emmanuel Macron’s La Republique en marche (...
Aerial Footage Shows US Troops Present in IS-Held Areas in Syria
The photographs that the Russian Defense Ministry published on...
Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesman Lu Kang
China on Monday called for all sides in the North Korea...
Abe Says Will Call Snap Parliamentary Election
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe announced Monday he will...

Trending

Googleplus