SUNDAY’s regional elections in the northern regions of Galicia and the Basque Country have bolstered acting prime minister Mariano Rajoy’s hand as he tries to form a national government before an October 31 deadline.
His Partido Popular (PP) sustained its absolute majority in Galicia’s regional parliament, a party stronghold, and held its own in the Basque Country, dominated by nationalist politics.
Rajoy’s chief rivals the Socialist PSOE, whose steadfast refusal to vote for his premiership is behind the current national impasse, lost seats in both regions, losing out to left-wing insurgents Podemos.
PP secretary general Maria Dolores de Cospedal claimed the Socialists had been “punished at the ballot box for the institutional deadlock” and the PSOE will be forced to confront whether Pedro Sanchez the right man for the job as the electorate make their frustration with the stalemate known.
If there is no national agreement by the end of October then Spain will head to the polls for the third time in one year, with Christmas Day pencilled in as the election date.