SPANISH ELECTIONS 2015

Nobody should draw political conclusions from assault, says PM

A day after being punched in the face by a youth, prime minister continues with campaign

Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy at a Thursday rally in A Coruña.
Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy at a Thursday rally in A Coruña.Cabalar / EFE

A day after being punched in the face by a youth in Pontevedra, Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy called on people not to give the incident a political reading.

Early reports had claimed that the assailant had ties to the leftist party Podemos, which is set to come in third or fourth in Sunday’s general elections according to the last available voter intention poll. The emerging party has since denied these ties.

“I draw no political conclusions from this and I ask for nobody else to,” he said on the popular morning talk show Programa de Ana Rosa, aired on the private network Telecinco.

I am holding on to the positive”

Mariano Rajoy after being assaulted

“My cheekbone is a bit swollen. The doctor gave me a cream and a painkiller,” said the conservative leader, who has made several television appearances since the Wednesday incident to insist that this was an isolated case of violence.

“We are in a civilized country and we don’t deal with things by slapping one another in the face. This was an exception,” said the 60-year-old incumbent, who hopes to get re-elected to a new term in office at Sunday’s general election.

The first people he called after the aggression were his wife and children, whom he told that his campaign agenda would not change on account of the assault.

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On Thursday, the Popular Party (PP) leader greeted Twitter followers from his next campaign stop, Barcelona, with a “Still moving forward.”

Rajoy also thanked people for their show of support following the aggression, and said that this reaction is what he will take away from the incident. “I am holding on to the positive,” he said.

The conservative leader said he is optimistic about his chances on Sunday but would not discuss potential agreements with other parties in the likely event that his PP should lose its absolute majority.

“A minority government is complicated, and it is hard to get things like the budget passed,” he noted, after admitting that the last four years “have not been easy for Spaniards.”

English version by Susana Urra.

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