A party which polled 5,443,846 votes at the last general election now governs Spain, but the party which polled 7,941,236 is in opposition. It is a ridiculous situation really. Almost eight million Spaniards voted for a party, the Partido Popular, which is now on the fringes while the smaller parties have moved forward. What happened in Spain last week was not really democratic. Granted that the vote of no-confidence in former prime minister Mariano Rajoy had plenty of support, but the maths really speak for themselves. Pedro Sanchez is now the new prime minister but he has just 85 MPs compared to the 137 of the Partido Popular. No prizes for guessing that the new Sanchez government will not be in power long!
In the Spanish political system it pays to have friends. If you’ve got friends then you can form a pact if one of the bigger parties fails to secure a majority. So in Spain winner doesn’t always take all. The fact that Mariano Rajoy was ousted by Basque and Catalan parties (who have all said that they would like independence from Spain) is an irony which will not be missed by many. Sanchez has ruled out early elections but he might not have any option. The Partido Popular is going to make life very difficult for him. Rajoy should not just have walked away. He should have called early elections. He has now left Spain in a very delicate situation. Those who voted for Rajoy and the Partido Popular must be wondering what went wrong.
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