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General election
 

Dialogue needed after Spaniards break two-party dominance

Emergent parties Podemos (left) and Ciudadanos (centre-right) get one in three votes. No clear government for the first time in democracy. 

AUTHOR Joel Forster , Evangelical Focus MADRID 21 DECEMBER 2015 18:31 h GMT+1
Queue of voters in Barcelona, during the 2015 general election. / El País

In a general election that could change the rules of the game of Spanish democracy, Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy lost its majority in the Congreso de los Diputados. 



The Conservative Partido Popular came first with 28.7% of the votes, but only 123 of 350 parlamentarians.



The cuts in social welfare, the high unemployment rates and the cases of corruption affecting some of the party's leaders, brought the party to lose 66 parlamentarians and 3,5 million supporters.



 



Banners urging voters to back Prime Minister Rajoy, after the election night. / EP



The Social Democrats PSOE did not only fail to achieve their goal (to win the election) but also lost 30 more parlamentarians and 1.5 million votes. Pedro Sánchez had the worst results of his party in history and will probably face a fierce internal debate in his own party.



 



EMERGENT PARTIES HELP CREATE NEW BOARD



The moral winners of this election are the emergent parties. Especially Podemos, the “indignado” left-wing party which filled arenas in their campaign asking those who are suffering the effects of the financial crisis to “vote with a smile” against corruption, and “say goodbye to the old parties.” In their first attempt, Podemos gained 69 seats and Pablo Iglesias only had 2% less votes than the Socialists.



Ciudadanos, the new Liberal party led by Albert Rivera, came fourth with 14% of the votes and 40 seats. They appealed to a “new transiation” in which politics become more transparent and parties are more accountable.



 



Podemos celebrated its strong irruption in the parliament. / EP



In Catalonia, a Podemos-led coalition won the most seats, but followed by Independentists ERC in second place. Both parties ask for an independence referendum for the region.



The participation was higher as in the previous election: 73% of all citizens participated.



 



WHAT’S NEXT?



Spain now faces a very open in situation, in which Rajoy will have the almost impossible task of forming a government. Even a coalition with natural partners Ciudadanos would not be enough to build a parliamentarian majority. On the left, there is no alternative either.



A German type of grand coalition between the two main parties is excluded, since both parties have never been able to cooperate.



Everyone agrees that a new era of politics started in Spain, in which there will be a need for dialogue, humbleness, and compromise. 



 



IT IS TIME TO DIALOGUE



The two-party system (known as “bipartidismo”) has disappeared while a plural parliament may be showing the reality of a society which has become very diverse.



 


 

 


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