The PSOE wins the autonomic elections but will not govern Andalusia
Andalusia is living a historic change on its political board. One of the great attractions of these elections was to observe the magnitude of the ‘Vox phenomenon’, spanish extreme right movement. The reality has surpassed any expectation as now the fascists can now have the key to the Executive.
The Socialists sink into the Community where they have governed uninterruptedly for 36 years, since the State of Autonomies was created in Spain. The Socialist Federal Directorate was aware that Susana Díaz (PSOE’S leader in Andalusia) would have difficulties forming a government, but they did not even imagine a disaster of such magnitude.
Trump and Bolsonaro in America. Le Pen, Salvini and Orbán in Europe. The extreme right is booming. Along with Ireland, Malta and Portugal, Spain was one of the few European countries in which this ideology did not have express parliamentary representation. Vox’s entrance through the large door in the Parliament of Andalusia disrupts the previous plans of all political forces. The 12 seats of the Santiago Abascal (leader of the party) formation transfer the extreme right from the street to the representation chamber, for the first time in the history of democracy. Jorge Vestrynge, professor of Political Science at the Complutense University, explained this afternoon on television that the main feature that Vox shares – a unique formation – with the other right-wing parties from other countries with parliamentary representation is the harshness in managing the immigration issue.
Vox has achieved to multiply by more than twenty its results of the 2015 elections. Its voters come in an overwhelming majority of the Popular Party: this change from blue to green is due, according to analysts, to the disenchantment that corruption scandals have already caused and the lukewarm position in Catalonia of Casado’s party. Vox devastates especially in the Andalusian population of El Egido, with 30% of the votes. They justify their green paper in «the desire to change» and fear and rejection of immigration (a third of the population of this area are foreign workers). The candidate of Vox to the presidency of the Board, Francisco Serrano, affirmed after knowing the results that were going to propitiate a «recapture» and that «they had come to stay». The extremist candidate Marine Le Pen congratulated Abascal’s party via Twitter.
The formation of investiture pacts is complicated and the political scene very uncertain. In spite of to have lost seven benches, the PP would reunite absolute majority allying itself with Vox and Citizens. Although, if so, Albert Rivera (leader of Ciudadanos) would have to face the dilemma that would suppose for a so-called modern party «normalize» their support for male-chauvinism, racism, homophobia and the radical proposals of Vox ranging from the abolition of autonomy to illegalization of certain political parties and feminist associations. Critical voices with the orange formation warn that rowing in the same direction as Vox would suppose a remarkable loss of credibility in the reiterative speech of centrist and moderate positions on which Ciudadanos has built their identity. In addition, it would squander for the Generals the political treasure that supposes the great ascent harvested. Ciudadanos is the only formation together with Vox that has not only managed to increase the number of votes and add seats, but to double them, going from 9 to 21 orange deputies.
Anyway, Rivera has confirmed this morning his main will to expell the PSOE from Andalusia and its secretary general, José Manuel Villegas, said that «all doors are open.» The Andalusian candidate of Rivera, Juan Marín, also aspires to the investiture, despite being the third political force in seats, as he has personally confirmed: «I will also present my candidacy».
The PP, on the other hand, has the newspaper library against. Far are now their old arguments like » the most voted list should govern» and not a «coalition of losers», as they have described before the alliance that evicted Mariano Rajoy from the Moncloa formed mainly by PSOE and Podemos (another spanish progresist party). In addition, and in Genova (PP’s headquarters) they are very aware of this, after moving from zero to twelve seats, Vox feels that they are the «big winners» and will not «fall in PP’s arms» lightly: the harder right wants to impose their conditions.
«Black» election day, especially for the left. It was not the electoral result that they expected in Ferraz (PSOE’s headquarters). Susana Díaz and Teresa Rodríguez (Adelante Andalucía coalition) do not add the 55 seats needed to preside Andalusia. The PSOE has been punished for corruption scandals, and «low participation», even in traditional socialist fiefdoms (58.6% of citizens have gone to vote). Díaz assured that it was a «sad night» and immediately after finishing the scrutiny she assured that she would open a dialogue process with the rest of the parties. «I appeal to the other constitutionalist political forces to stop the far right in Andalusia (…) Everyone has to prove now whether they are going to support the extreme right or to throw it out,» she said. This morning the socialist leader has announced that she will open contact with all parties except Vox.
Podemos and Izquierda Unida do not go well with the move either: Adelante Andalucia, their brand to appear at the polls jointly, gets three deputies less than both parties, separately, in 2015. «We have been unable to get people dissatisfied with the PSOE to vote for us», the leader of Izquierda Unida, Alberto Garzón, said this morning.
The PSOE’S Minister of Development, José Luis Ábalos, dismisses for the moment an advance of the general elections and marks distances with the campaign of Diaz. «We will continue to insist on our social agenda.»
Not only Andalusia was yesterday in suspense. These regional elections… Are they an advance of what will happen in the panish general elections of 2019? With what force will the extreme right break into the Congress of Deputies once that no one doubts that it will obtain parliamentary representation?
«We must demand in the name of tolerance the need to not tolerate the intolerant». This is the fashionable sentence rescued from the thought of the Austrian philosopher Popper. Spain is a tolerant country, however our democracy has spoken in Andalusia: 395,978 people have legally given their trust to Vox. Now political self-criticism, analyze the causes, anticipate the consequences and minimize damage to citizenship. The great anomaly of our system is that it forces us to respect the will of people who do not respect other people for reasons of gender, sexual orientation, origin and beliefs. «Spaniards are equal before the law, without any discrimination based on birth, race, sex, religion, opinion or any other condition or personal or social circumstance prevailing»; Article 14 of the Spanish Constitution. There is no other choice: it is time for dialogue, and not only in the perplexed Andalusia.