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Spain’s conservative leader opens door to government with far right

PP head Pablo Casado embraces potential deal with Vox as president Pedro Sánchez hints at left-wing pact post-Sunday election

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26 April 2019 02:01 PM

by

ACN | Barcelona

The head of Spain’s main conservative party has opened the door to forming a government with rising far-right Vox, should right-wing parties win a majority of seats following a general election next Sunday.

Pablo Casado, the successor of former Spanish president Mariano Rajoy to lead the People’s Party (PP), embraced a government deal with Vox on Friday for the first time since the election campaign kicked off two weeks ago.

With a tough approach on the Catalan independence crisis, Vox is expected to make big gains and become the first unmistakably far-right party to enter the Spanish Congress since the transition to democracy 40 years ago.

Vox’s recent breakthrough in the election in Andalusia made possible a right-wing government between PP and Ciutadans (Cs) in the southern region, thus dealing a major blow to Spain’s ruling Socialist party in its historic bastion.

With the election campaign drawing to a close, PP and Cs are competing to present themselves as the would-be leaders of a right-wing government in Madrid, with both parties using the Catalan independence crisis to attack Spanish president Pedro Sánchez.

While Cs leader Albert Rivera tries to distance himself from Vox and its conservative agenda on issues such as LGTBQ and women’s rights, Casado has assured that “Vox sympathizers have no reasons to not vote PP.”

Socialists accept Podemos demands to enter government

On the other side of the political spectrum, Sánchez has hinted at a government deal between the Socialists and Unidas Podemos, the left-wing anti-austerity party led by Pablo Iglesias.

“I have no problem with Podemos entering the government,” said Sánchez in an interview with El País newspaper.

After weeks of hesitation, Sánchez is finally accepting Podemos’ request to rule Spain together following the April 28 election, thus cooling down the prospects of a government deal between the Socialists and Cs.

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  • People's Party head Pablo Casado (right) opens doos to government deal with far-right Vox, led by Santiago Abascal (Pictures by Vox and Roger Segura)

  • People's Party head Pablo Casado (right) opens doos to government deal with far-right Vox, led by Santiago Abascal (Pictures by Vox and Roger Segura)