REGIONAL POLITICS

Socialists to govern in Asturias after reaching accord with UPyD

Solitary centrist party representative has finally swung toward the left-leaning bloc

Socialist Javier Fernández on Wednesday looked set to form a government in the northern region of Asturias with the support of the United Left (IU) and the centrist UPyD grouping after reaching a “basic agreement” with the latter.

The political situation in Asturias has been gridlocked since elections on March 25 from which the Socialist and the IU on the one side, and the right-leaning Asturias Citizens Forum (FAC) and the conservative Popular Party on the other each emerged with 22 lawmakers in the local parliament.

The Socialist last week had failed the garner the support of the single UPyD lawmaker to allow Fernández to be sworn in as regional premier. UPyD demanded that the regional election law be changed to impose a single election precinct rather than the three that currently exist in exchange for its support.

The Socialists were reluctant to move in this direction and conditioned any change to a cross-party accord, which they have now managed to swing, with details of the agreement still to be ironed out.

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