By Jason Moore

THE shockwaves from Balearic President Francesc Antich´s announcement that he would form a minority government after ejecting the Majorcan Unionist Party from his coalition are continuing with the announcement that the opposition Partido Popular could present a vote of no-confidence in the Balearic parliament to press Antich to call early elections.

The Partido Popular gave no date or further explanation for the move although the leader of the party, Jose Ramon Bauza, said that the present situation (minority rule) was not acceptable.

However, for the motion of no-confidence to prosper the Partido Popular would need the support of the Majorcan Unionist Party whose image has been tarnished by a whole series of alleged corruption scandals. This was one of the reasons they were thrown out of the coalition in the first place. The Partido Popular, who now have a majority in the Balearic parliament, need the Unionists to either support their move or abstain for it to be successful.

However, despite their recent problems, Antich believes that the Unionists will still continue to support his government eventhough they no longer form part of it.

The present political crisis comes at a time when the Partido Popular is divided and a congress has been called to elect a leader. Calvia Mayor Carlos Delgado has put his name forward along with Bauza. There would also be votes of no-confidence in the Council of Majorca and on the city council where there is also minority governments.

Political commentators believe that sooner or later Antich will have to call an election. He says that he has support of the trade unions and on the Confederation of Balearic Business Associations who believe that early elections would be a bad idea. If he does call early elections Antich´s socialist party would probably come a distant second to the Partido Popular. Support for the Majorcan Unionist Party is expected to fall. Under Spanish election law, the Partido Popular has until this summer to present their no-confidence vote because you are not allowed to do so when a government is into its last year (elections are due to be held in 2011). There are also widespread fears that the turnout in the local elections would be very low as a result of all the political scandals. Some commentators fear that the Balearic government will effectively shut down because it will be unable to push through any legislation because of its minority status in the Balearic parliament. Whatever the outcome the political uncertainty is expected to continue until there is an election.