Spanish to repeat general election

Spanish-to-repeat-general-election.  MADRID, Spain held its second general election in six months Sunday in hopes of one party getting enough votes to form a majority government.

Spain holds its second general election in six months Sunday in an attempt to form a majority government. Photo from patrice6000/Shutterstock

The outlook is grim, however. Voter turnout is expected to be low and the results are expected to be similar to those in December when no single party gained enough votes to for a majority government.

The conservative Popular Party received the most votes in the December election but did not get a majority in parliament. Incumbent Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy, the leader of the Popular Party, was not able to get enough members of rival parties to form a minority government, The Guardian reported.

Spain is making its way out of a deep recession that resulted in cuts to health services and public education. It continues to have the second highest unemployment rate in Europe at 20 percent, behind Greece, Sky News reported.

Still, with this being the first election in Europe since Brexit – Britain’s vote last week to exit the European Union – other countries are watching to see if Spaniards will seek some reassurance by backing the People’s Party or seek an alternative.

“It is really important to convey a message of institutional and economic stability,” Rajoy said during a televised address following Brexit. “It is not the moment to fuel or increase uncertainty.”

Political risk advisor Antonio Barroso said, however, that he expects more of the same from the Sunday poll.

“I think what we’re going to have on Sunday is essentially another highly fragmented parliament with a PP victory,” Barroso said.

By Yvette C. Hammett