SPAIN’S Prime Minister has said the country will go to the polls for a snap general election on Sunday April 28.
Pedro Sanchez, who announced the vote from his La Moncloa residence this morning (Friday), called the election after parliament refused to back government budget plans on Wednesday.
He also met with ministers from the ruling Partido Socialista (PSOE) government this morning before making the announcement.
Sanchez said PSOE had achieved progress on employment, technological development and on strengthening Spain’s democratic institutions. The government passed 13 laws and 25 royal decrees since it took power in June, the Prime Minister added.
Sanchez said he had been willing to speak to the pro-Catalan independence parties who sealed the fate of his budget by voting against it on Wednesday. He added the conservative Partido Popular (PP) and the centrist Ciudadanos had also blocked not only the budget but several other government initiatives.
— La Moncloa (@desdelamoncloa) February 15, 2019
PSOE has governed as a minority since it ousted the previous PP government with a no confidence motion in June. It currently has 84 seats out of 350 in the Congress of Deputies and 62 out of 266 in the Senate.
The party has relied on the leftist Podemos and several smaller regionalist groups that joined with PSOE to oust the PP to get legislation passed.
The decision from some pro-Catalan independence parties to break ranks and vote down the budget led to today’s announcement. Those parties refused to back the budget due to the government’s handling of the ongoing trial of those charged in connection with the 2017 referendum and declaration.