Spain’s acting president to give last election rally in Barcelona

Socialist leader Pedro Sánchez becomes first sitting president to choose Catalonia for closing campaign rally

Spain's acting president Pedro Sánchez raises his fist in a Socialist rally (by PSOE)
Spain's acting president Pedro Sánchez raises his fist in a Socialist rally (by PSOE) / ACN

ACN | Barcelona

October 28, 2019 02:26 PM

Spain’s acting president Pedro Sánchez will close his rally for the upcoming general election campaign on Friday 8 in Barcelona—the first time a sitting Spanish head of government has ever held their last election rally in Catalonia.

"It’s a message of Socialist party support for coexistence," said Salvador Illa, a spokesperson for the Catalan branch of Spain’s ruling Socialist party.

Illa acknowledges the importance of Catalonia and the independence crisis in the upcoming election, which is once again set to become the most heated campaign issue after the sentencing of 9 pro-independence leaders two weeks ago triggered a wave of protests in Catalonia.

Spaniards will head to the polls on November 10 after Sánchez failed to garner enough parliamentary support to form a new government after the previous general election in April.

It’ll be Spain’s fourth general election in just as many years.

As polls suggest that Sánchez will once again fall short of a ruling majority, he could face an uneasy dilemma: either reaching a deal with right-wing parties who criticize him for being too lenient on Catalan pro-independence parties, or reaching an accord with pro-independence parties themselves.

After the conviction of 9 Catalan leaders to lengthy prison sentences for their role in the 2017 referendum push, the reluctance of pro-independence parties to back a Socialist government has only increased.