20-d

Europe warns Spain of the “shortcomings” in the postal voting system

February 29, 2016 07:20 PM | ACN

The Spanish authorities “should address the shortcomings of the postal voting system”, especially for those living abroad. This is one of the main conclusions of the report written by the Organisation for Security and Co-Operation in Europe (OSCE) and the Office for Democratic and International Human Rights (ODIHR), after observing the 20-D Spanish elections. The report also warns of the “political pressures” on Spanish public radio and television, as well as the coverage of the electoral campaign, which was “highly regulated according to some stakeholders” rather than following informative criteria. According to the report, only 8.57% of the 1.8 million Spanish living abroad registered to vote for the last Spanish elections and less than 89,000 could ultimately do so.

‘Ciutadans’ proposes a triangular alliance to fight pro-independence forces

December 23, 2015 05:16 PM | ACN / Sara Prim

The results of the 20-D Spanish Elections will force the political parties to reach agreements, as none of them have obtained an absolute majority of 175 MPs. Anti-Catalan nationalism ‘Ciutadans’, which obtained 40 MPs in the 20-D, have proposed a coalition whereby they, the conservative People’s Party (PP) and the Spanish Socialist Party (PSOE) would unite against “those who want to break the country apart”. “If there isn’t a roadmap for change, there won’t ever be stability and the populists will take advantage of our system’s decadence” warned Ciutadans’ leader, Albert Rivera, and added that “Spain is not negotiable”. Ciutadans’ offer comes after the PSOE refused the PP’s proposal to reach an agreement. The PSOE’s leader, Pedro Sánchez, insisted on their ‘no’ to Mariano Rajoy and assured that they would work to form a government of change. 

20-D Spanish Elections: Catalan parties react

December 21, 2015 01:11 AM | ACN / Sara Prim

Current Catalan President Artur Mas congratulated the winning list in Catalonia running for the Spanish Elections, alternative left coalition En Comú Podem and emphasised the coalition’s commitment to Catalonia’s right to decide. “We take Podemos at their word and ask them not to take a single step backwards” he stated. Mas admitted that Democràcia i Llibertat, the coalition which includes his party, liberal CDC, didn’t obtain the expected results, “we have been mercilessly attacked by the Spanish State’s powers” he said. Left wing pro-independence ERC’s candidate for Barcelona, Gabriel Rufián, noted that his party “obtained its best result ever” in the Spanish Elections “we have tripled the result of 2011” he emphasised. “Those who have been repeatedly ignored and who don’t have the support of any factional power have won the elections in Catalonia” stated Barcelona’s mayor Ada Colau, referring to the En Comú candidates, which were part of the En Comú Podem coalition. 

The PP wins the Spanish Elections but loses its absolute majority

December 21, 2015 12:32 AM | ACN / Sara Prim

The party led by Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy has obtained 123 MPs from the 350 in the Spanish Parliament, which represents a decline of 63 seats in comparison to the last Spanish Elections. The Spanish Socialist Party, PSOE, has obtained 90 seats, 20 less than in 2011 and the two new parties running for the Spanish Elections for the first time, alternative left Podemos and anti-Catalan nationalism Ciutadans, got 68 and 40 seats respectively. In Catalonia, alternative left coalition En Comú Podem has won the elections, obtaining 12 MPs. Pro-independence left wing ERC has obtained 9 MPs, three times more than in the 2011 elections. Democràcia i Llibertat got 8 MPs and Catalan Socialist Party 7 MPs, half of what they obtained in 2011. Ciutadans have secured 5 representatives in their first time running for the Spanish Elections, the same number of seats as the Catalan People’s Party (PPC). The overall turnout in the whole of Spain was 73.22%.

20-D Spanish Elections: 56.6% have voted in Catalonia by 6pm

December 20, 2015 08:03 PM | Sara Prim

The figure is 3.4 points higher than it was at the same hour, 18.00 (CET), on the day of the 2011 General Elections. The Catalan region with the highest rate of participation so far is Barcelona, with 57.6%, followed by the Girona region with 54.9%, Tarragona with 54.6% and Lleida with 52%. In the whole of Spain, 58.3% of the electorate have already cast their vote, a figure which is slightly higher than in 2011 (57.6%). Journalists from nearly 600 media outlets are accredited and will be following Election Day in the main parties’ headquarters.

20-D Spanish Elections: 35.3% have already voted in Catalonia

December 20, 2015 03:11 PM | ACN / Sara Prim

The figure is 3.4 points higher than it was at the same hour, 14.00 (CET), on the day of the 2011 General Elections. The Catalan region with the highest rate of participation so far is Barcelona, with 57.6%, followed by the Girona region with 54.9%, Tarragona with 54.6% and Lleida with 52%. In the whole of Spain, 58.3 % of the electorate have already cast their vote, a figure which is slightly higher than in 2011 (57.6%). Journalists from nearly 600 media outlets are accredited and will be following Election Day in the main parties’ headquarters.

20-D Spanish Elections: Catalonia and the end of the two-party system on the spotlight

December 19, 2015 04:09 PM | Sara Prim

This Sunday, more than 35 million Spanish citizens are entitled to elect the 350 MPs in the Spanish Parliament and the 208 members of the Senate. Election Day will take place less than three months after the 27-S Catalan elections, which saw the victory of pro-independence forces – a fact that has definitely focused the electoral campaign and the main parties’ programmes. The 20-D Spanish Elections are also set to be crucial as they may mark the end of the two-party system in Spain comprised of the Conservative People’s Party, PP, and the Spanish Socialist Party, PSOE, which have alternated in the Spanish government since 1982. Two new parties are set to burst into the Spanish Parliament and may have a key role in the post-electoral agreements: anti-Catalan nationalism ‘Ciutadans’ and alternative left ‘Podemos’. They have both shown their force and popular support in the past European, regional and local elections.

Party Review – Democràcia i Llibertat: “Voting is the only way we can defend our cause”

December 18, 2015 06:49 PM | Sara Prim

'Democràcia i Llibertat' (Democracy and Freedom) gathers together members from Liberal CDC, the party currently leading the Catalan Government, ‘Demòcrates de Catalunya’, the party which split from former CDC partner Christian-Democrat Unió, and ‘Reagrupament’, constituted by former members of left wing ERC. “The name symbolises what we are committed to doing: attaining Catalonia’s freedom through democracy” stated Democràcia i Llibertat’s candidate for Barcelona, Francesc Homs. “Our only instrument to defend our cause is voting” he stated “therefore, every time the ballot boxes are put out we will vote”. The former Catalan Minister for the Presidency assured that the international community will be following the Spanish Elections, but they will pay special attention to “what Catalonia will vote” and see if this vote “has a connection” with the political process that Catalonia is going through.

Party Review - left wing ERC: “Just as we are present in Brussels, we’ll be present in Madrid”

December 17, 2015 06:14 PM | Sara Prim

Left wing ERC is likely to obtain one of its best results in the 20-D Spanish elections, according to many polls. The candidature will be led by Gabriel Rufián, from the pro-independence association of Spanish speakers ‘Súmate’ and member of the Catalan National Assembly (ANC). “Catalonia has to be defended everywhere” he stated adding that “now it is time to win the elections of a neighbouring state which is rejecting any negotiations at all”. ERC and Liberal CDC, the two main pro-independence forces forming cross-party list 'Junts Pel Sí', have decided to run for the Spanish Elections separately.

Party review – PSC: “Catalonia won’t bear four more years of Rajoy”

December 17, 2015 03:10 PM | Sara Prim

PSC is the Catalan branch of the Spanish Socialist Party, a force which has alternated in the Spanish Government with the People’s Party (PP) for the last 32 years. Their influence in Catalonia started to decline in 2010 in favour of nationalist and pro-independence parties. Now the Socialists are the third force in the Catalan Parliament and the opposition party in Spain’s Congreso de los Diputados. However, many polls claim their key position in the Spanish chamber might be overtaken by alternative-left Podemos or anti-Catalan Nationalist Ciutadans, both running for the Spanish Elections on the 20-D for the first time. PSC’s candidate for Barcelona, former Spanish Minister of Defence Carme Chacón, is convinced that the Socialists are the only guarantee “to chase Mariano Rajoy out” from the Spanish government and restore “the dialogue” between Catalonia and Spain. 

Party Review – PPC: “Spain is not for sale, nor likely to be broken”

December 16, 2015 06:50 PM | ACN / Sara Prim

PPC, the Catalan branch of the conservative People’s Party aims to return the trust of all those citizens who supported the party in 2011 when the PP obtained an absolute majority. “We still have time” stated PPC’s candidate for the Spanish Elections in Barcelona province, Jorge Fernández Díaz who is currently Spanish Minister for Home Affairs. He urged Catalans to “fill the ballot boxes with national pride, seriousness, rigour and hope” and accused the pro-independence forces of being “traitors” for “breaking the constitutional agreement” and assured that “nobody has ever dared to go this far”. According to Fernández Díaz, Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy is the only guarantee “to get rid of the toxic process which is dividing Catalans” and assured that Spain “is not for sale, nor likely to be broken”.   

Deadline for the vote abroad extended twice for 20-D Spanish Elections

December 16, 2015 12:04 PM | Sara Prim

Spaniards living abroad will have more time to vote in the 20-D Spanish Elections. Spain’s Electoral Roll Office has twice agreed to extend the deadline for the postal vote: first it was extended from the 12th of December to the 16th, and this Wednesday the Spanish bodyhas announced its extension to the 18th. The aim is to improve a system which was described as “an authentic odyssey” by the Catalan Minister for Public Administration Meritxell Borràs when more than 200,000 Catalans whom were registered to vote in the 27-S Catalan elections couldn’t ultimately do so. This decision to facilitate the vote for the 20-D Spanish Elections contrasts with the Spanish body’s failure to do so for those Catalans living abroad who repeatedly requested an extension of the deadline for voting in the 27-S Catalan elections. 

Party Review - Anti-Catalan Nationalism ‘Ciutadans’: “Catalonia doesn’t have the right to self-determination”

December 15, 2015 03:13 PM | ACN / Sara Prim

Anti-Catalan Nationalism Ciutadans is a party born and raised in Catalonia. Although its trajectory has been short, they experienced the highest growth in the past 27-S Catalan elections and became the second force in the Parliament, with 25 MPs. Now they are running for the Spanish Elections for the first time and many polls forecast a great result for them. “Being Catalan doesn’t mean supporting independence” stated Ciutadans’ candidate for Barcelona, Juan Carlos Girauta, and criticised current Catalan President Artur Mas for assuming “what the majority of Catalans want even before they vote”. The party’s position regarding Catalonia’s push for independence has always been clear “Spain’s sovereignty is not negotiable” warned Girauta and assured that “the right of self-determination is only applicable to colonies and countries subjected to tyranny” and therefore “not for Catalonia”.