Zhao Junjie, a researcher in European Studies at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, said that Sunday‘s election results mean that the persistent political fragmentation will make the negotiations to form a government more difficult, and the stalemate will not end soon
Spain‘s acting Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez addresses a Socialists executive board meeting at party headquarters in Madrid, Spain, November 11, 2019. [Photo/Agencies] The Spanish Socialist Party of Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez claimed a victory in the national election on Sunday, although the large gains made by the far-right Vox party seem likely to deepen the political fragmentation in the country.
With more than 99 percent of the votes counted, the left-wing Socialists won 120 seats in the national parliament, three seats fewer than in the last election seven months ago. A party needs an absolute majority of 176 seats to form a government alone.
The conservative People’s Party won 88 seats, an increase from the 66 seats in the election in April. The Vox party gained 52 seats, more than doubling its number of 24 lawmakers in the country’s fourth national election in four years.
“Eleven months ago, we were not in any regional legislature in Spain. Today we are the third-largest party in Spain and the party that has grown the most in votes and seats,” said Vox leader Santiago Abascal.
The election was held in the shadow of violent disturbances in the Catalan region of northeast Spain, which broke out after nine leaders of a separatist movement were sentenced to prison for an attempt to break the region away from Spain two years ago.
Sanchez has called on all political parties to be “responsible” and “generous” to help the Socialists to form a government to end the political deadlock that has lasted for months.
“Our project is to form a stable government and to carry out politics for the Spanish people so I want to call on all the political parties to act responsibly to unblock the political situation in Spain,” he said.
Zhao Junjie, a researcher in European Studies at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, said that Sunday‘s election results mean that the persistent political fragmentation will make the negotiations to form a government more difficult, and the stalemate will not end soon.
“Frankly speaking, it is still unknown whether the Socialists will be able to form a government, as the gaming among political parties could be very fierce,” he said.
He added that the surge of the farright party was partly due to Spain‘s high unemployment rate and sluggish economic development over the past few years, including the slowdown in its important manufacturing and tourism industries.
“As some voters think that they cannot expect left-wing or conservative parties to bring some changes to their lives, they will be likely to make a change in their votes and turn to the far-right party,” he said.
However, as in most countries of the European Union, Zhao said Spain‘s far-right parties are unlikely to play a dominant role.
Xinhua and AP contributed to this story.