By Satyaki Chakraboty
Spain, an important member of the European Union is witnessing a tumultuous national elections next Sunday July 23 the outcome of which will decide whether this country which suffered fascism under President Franco, will once again be governed by a coalition consisting of the late dictator’s supporters.
All opinion polls indicate that the pro Franco party Vox will gain in the coming elections and it will join hands with the centre right Popular Party to form a coalition ministry after the elections. PP has already agreed for such a coalition. If that happens, it will, mean that the centre right has surrenderd to the fascists and the leftwing government of Pedro Sanchez, the incumbent Prime Minister will be out of the Government after ruling the country for five years with the support of the leftwing Podemos and the Communist Party.
Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez called the early general elections onJuly 23 as his party along with his partner Podemos suffered badly in theregional elections on May 28.The centre right PP emerged at the top. Earlier thePP was reluctant to share power with pro Franco Vox which was also gaining at the cost of the PP and the Left but from May onwards, the PP and Vox agreed to govern together in some 140 cities and towns. Now this partnership may be extended at the national level if Vox takes third position below PPP and the combined centre Left..
Such a coalition would return a far-right force to the Spanish government for the first time since the country transitioned to parliamentary democracy following the 1975 death of Gen. Francisco Franco, the fascist dictator who ruled Spain for nearly 40 years.
Led by former PP member Santiago Abascal, 47, Vox opposes abortion rights, denies climate change, and rejects the need for government to combat gender violence. Election polling indicates the party could finish third this weekend, a showing that would putAbascal in a kingmaker’s role..
Vox’s manifesto is virtually a replica of the tenets of the Franco regime, It promises, for example, a return to a highly centralized government by scrapping the 17 regions that came into being after Franco’s death.
Beyond Spain, a PP-Vox government would mean another EU member has moved firmly to the right, a trend seen recently in Sweden, Finland, and Italy. Other EU states are concerned by what such a shift would portend for EU immigration and climate policies.Spain took over EU presidency on July 1.This year.
Whatever is the latest rend in the opinion poll in July23 elections, fifteen Left parties of different shades. are jointly fighting the polls The credit goes to the Spanish communist leader and the deputy prime minister of the present Spanish government Yolanda Diaz who made it possible through her new platform Sumar(Unite) by putting ceaseless efforts for bringing unity of the entire Left to capture power by defeating the Right.In association with Sanchez’s party .
Diaz is very confident of the Front’s electoral list. In fact, the list has got wide approval nationwide. She has asked all Sumar partners to start vigorous campaign for the national polls on the basis of the social justiceprogramme. Diaz holds the labour portfolio and she has introduced many pro labour measures during her tenure to the satisfaction of the Spanish trade unions.
Sergio Pascual, Podemos’s former head of organization, is also happy at the formation of the joint front to fight the July 23 elections. Otherwise, he says, the alternative is a hard-right, Popular Party (PP)–Vox government, which threatens democratic regression in Spain. Yet, , Pascual maintains that faced with such a threat, the Left must also be able to offer a positive vision for a new Spain, based on social justice and a new state interventionism.
The Sumar agreement explicitly recognizes the pluralism of these distinct currents. It also looks to better represent their competing weight in the current political moment, which is quite distinct to that of eight years ago when Podemos made its initial breakthrough. In 2015, Podemos’s combative rhetoric won the voters and the combination ruled for four years from 2015 to2019, and its hegemony was universally accepted. In 2019 elections Sanchez’s party did better and he became Prime Minister replacing Pablo Iglesias. Since the, both PP and Vox have been gaining at the cost of the centre and the Left.
Under Sumar, all the fifteen parties have carried out joint campaign and the main attraction of the Front was Diaz who is highly popular with the young people as also workers. In her campaign speeches, she is mentioning of the glorious role of the Spanish Communist Party and the other Left groups in the fight against fascist Franco in the 1930’s and calling on the voters ‘No vote to fascists’. The communist leader has created a big impact, as per the media reports, but it is to be seen whether that is enough to prevent right wing march on July 23 in the ballot boxes as is being predicted by the poll analysts. (IPA Service)