Saturday, September 23, 2023

Far-right Vox open to coalition government with conservative PP

MADRID (Reuters) – Spain’s far-right party Vox is open to forming a national and regional governing coalition with the conservative Popular Party (PP), Vox leader Santiago Abascal said on Monday after the right-wing parties would win regional elections.

In response to the massive defeat of his Socialist Party (PSOE) and its left-wing ally, Podemos, in Sunday’s elections, the prime minister, Pedro Sánchez, has called early national elections for July.

Abascal said that his party, together with the PP, would be open to “making an alternative” to Sánchez.

The PP, the second party in the Congress of Deputies behind the PPOE, is now in a position to govern alone in two autonomous communities and Vox as junior partner in the other six.

Sunday’s results also indicate that the PP and Vox, which are anti-immigration and anti-separatist, could oust Sanchez if repeated at the national parliamentary level.

When asked whether he would offer the position of vice-president of government to PP leader Alberto Núñez Feijo if Vox comes first in the national elections, Abascal replied: “If they give us an absolute majority, yes.”

In the 2019 national elections, Vox received just over 15% of the vote and became the third party in the Congress of Deputies with 52 of the 350 seats in the chamber.

Abascal said Sanchez called for early elections because he felt he could benefit from the measure, but said his term had expired.

(Reporting by Inti Landauro; Writing by David Latona; Editing in Spanish by Flora Gomez and Benjamin Mejias Valencia)

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