Center-right parties clinch deal to end Socialist power in Andalusia

But a government by Ciudadanos and Popular Party depends on support from the far-right Vox party

Juan Manuel Moreno and Juan Marín in parliament.
Juan Manuel Moreno and Juan Marín in parliament.Alejandro Ruesga

The new government of Andalusia, in southern Spain, is beginning to take shape. Following 36 years of uninterrupted administration by the Socialist Party (PSOE), Spain’s most populous region could soon get a center-right government controlled by the Popular Party (PP) and Ciudadanos.

Following the PSOE’s poor performance at the December 2 election, the PP and Ciudadanos have crafted a deal that creates 10 departments. Under the terms of the agreement, Juan Marín, the Ciudadanos leader in Andalusia, will serve as the regional deputy, and he will also be in charge of the economy department. The PP will be in charge of the treasury.

Teodoro García-Egea, PP secretary general

Marín said that the agreement would “turn into a reality Andalusians’ desire to get a government of change and send the PSOE to the opposition.”

The last details of the deal are still being ironed out and will be made public in the coming hours. But for this new government to become a reality, it will require support from the far-right Vox party, which must back the conservative candidate to the regional leadership, Juan Manuel Moreno of the PP.

Support from Vox

Ciudadanos reiterated on Sunday that Vox is not invited to join its deal with the PP. Meanwhile the PP’s secretary general, Teodoro García Egea, is telling Vox that it should be aware of “the historic moment” in Andalusia and should support the deal to make sure that the incumbent Susana Díaz of the PSOE is not voted back in.

“Díaz could still become the Andalusian premier if Vox does not support this pact. That would be a disaster,” he said in television interviews on Telecinco and Antena 3.

At the December 2 election, the PSOE won the most votes but lost 14 seats, and its remaining 33 lawmakers fall far short of the 55-seat majority. The PP came in second with 26 seats and Ciudadanos was third with 21.

Besides the historic loss for the PSOE, the Andalusian election made headlines because of the 12 seats obtained by Vox, marking the first time in Spanish democratic history that a far-right party sits inside a parliament. Spain is holding local, regional and European elections this year, opening the door for Vox to make new inroads in Spanish politics.

English version by Susana Urra.

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