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  • Spanish acting Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez and Unidas Podemos (Together We Can) leader Pablo Iglesias shake hands during a news conference at Spain's Parliament in Madrid, Spain, November 12, 2019.

    Spanish acting Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez and Unidas Podemos (Together We Can) leader Pablo Iglesias shake hands during a news conference at Spain's Parliament in Madrid, Spain, November 12, 2019. | Photo: Reuters

Published 12 November 2019
Opinion

The unexpected preliminary agreement is meant to form a “progressive” coalition government joining the PSOE’s 120 seats and the 35 won by Unidas Podemos.

Spain’s Socialist Worker's Party (PSOE) and the left-wing Unidas Podemos party agreed on the basis of a coalition government Tuesday, just two days after a parliamentary election delivered a highly fragmented parliament and a surge in right-wing MPs.

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“It’s a deal for four years,” PSOE leader Pedro Sanchez and acting prime minister said after signing the pact alongside Podemos leader Pablo Iglesias.

The unexpected preliminary agreement is meant to form a “progressive” coalition government joining the PSOE’s 120 seats and the 35 won by Unidas Podemos. However, this will leave them 21-seats short of a majority in the 350-seat parliament.

The two parties, which recently refused to work together, will now have to reach agreements with other smaller parties, that mainly represent secessionists movements in Catalonia and the Vasque country. 

 

“Spain needs a stable government, a solid government,” Sanchez said, adding that they would start as soon as Tuesday to call on other parties to join the deal.

A task that will prove challenging as Sanchez’s government has been dismissive of the recent protests in the semi-autonomous region of Catalonia, going as far as publicly supporting police forces that used violent repression against protesters. 

The Socialists and Podemos had tried and failed to strike a government deal after the April election, prompting Sanchez to call the repeat ballot. Although if they succeed this time around, it would be Spain’s first coalition government since the country’s return to democracy in the late 1970s.

Meanwhile, Sunday’s elections proved very positive for the right as the conservative Popular Pary managed to gain more seats after the worst defeat in the party’s history in April rising from 66 to 88 and the far-right Vox saw a huge leap from 24 to 52 seats becoming the third-largest political force in Spain. 

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