Connect with us

News

Spain’s far-Right party DOUBLES its seats as ruling Socialists left further from forming majority

Published

on

Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez’s Socialists won Spain’s national election on Sunday but large gains by the upstart far-right Vox party appear certain to widen the political deadlock in the European Union’s fifth-largest economy.

After a fourth national ballot in as many years and the second in less than seven months, the left-wing Socialists held on as the leading power in the National Parliament.

With 99 per cent of the votes counted, the Socialists won 120 seats, down three seats from the last election in April and still far from the absolute majority of 176 needed to form a government alone.

The big political shift came as right-wing voters flocked to Vox, which only had broken into Parliament in the spring for the first time.

The far-right party led by 43-year-old Santiago Abascal, who speaks of ‘reconquering’ Spain in terms that echo the medieval wars between Christian and Moorish forces, rocketed from 24 to 52 seats. 

That will make Vox the third leading party in the Congress of Deputies and give it much more leverage in forming a government and crafting legislation. 

Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez's (pictured in Madrid) Socialists won Spain's national election on Sunday but large gains by the upstart far-right Vox party appear certain to widen the political deadlock in the European Union's fifth-largest economy

Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez's (pictured in Madrid) Socialists won Spain's national election on Sunday but large gains by the upstart far-right Vox party appear certain to widen the political deadlock in the European Union's fifth-largest economy

Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez’s (pictured in Madrid) Socialists won Spain’s national election on Sunday but large gains by the upstart far-right Vox party appear certain to widen the political deadlock in the European Union’s fifth-largest economy

After a fourth national ballot in as many years and the second in less than seven months, the left-wing Socialists held on as the leading power in the National Parliament. Pictured: Scenes in Madrid

After a fourth national ballot in as many years and the second in less than seven months, the left-wing Socialists held on as the leading power in the National Parliament. Pictured: Scenes in Madrid

After a fourth national ballot in as many years and the second in less than seven months, the left-wing Socialists held on as the leading power in the National Parliament. Pictured: Scenes in Madrid 

With 99 per cent of the votes counted, the Socialists (pictured, supporters in Madrid) won 120 seats, down three seats from the last election in April and still far from the absolute majority of 176 needed to form a government alone

With 99 per cent of the votes counted, the Socialists (pictured, supporters in Madrid) won 120 seats, down three seats from the last election in April and still far from the absolute majority of 176 needed to form a government alone

With 99 per cent of the votes counted, the Socialists (pictured, supporters in Madrid) won 120 seats, down three seats from the last election in April and still far from the absolute majority of 176 needed to form a government alone

The big political shift came as right-wing voters flocked to Vox, which only had broken into Parliament in the spring for the first time. Pictured: Pedro Sanchez (centre) speaks to supporters about the general election result outside party HQ in Madrid

The big political shift came as right-wing voters flocked to Vox, which only had broken into Parliament in the spring for the first time. Pictured: Pedro Sanchez (centre) speaks to supporters about the general election result outside party HQ in Madrid

The big political shift came as right-wing voters flocked to Vox, which only had broken into Parliament in the spring for the first time. Pictured: Pedro Sanchez (centre) speaks to supporters about the general election result outside party HQ in Madrid

The far-right party led by 43-year-old Santiago Abascal (pictured), who speaks of 'reconquering' Spain in terms that echo the medieval wars between Christian and Moorish forces, rocketed from 24 to 52 seats

The far-right party led by 43-year-old Santiago Abascal (pictured), who speaks of 'reconquering' Spain in terms that echo the medieval wars between Christian and Moorish forces, rocketed from 24 to 52 seats

The far-right party led by 43-year-old Santiago Abascal (pictured), who speaks of ‘reconquering’ Spain in terms that echo the medieval wars between Christian and Moorish forces, rocketed from 24 to 52 seats

The party has vowed to be much tougher on both Catalan separatists and migrants.

Abascal called his party’s success ‘the greatest political feat seen in Spain.’

‘Just 11 months ago, we weren’t even in any regional legislature in Spain. Today we are the third-largest party in Spain and the party that has grown the most in votes and seats,’ said Abascal, who promised to battle the ‘progressive dictatorship.’

Right-wing populist and anti-migrant leaders across Europe celebrated Vox’s strong showing.

Marine Le Pen, who heads France’s National Rally party, congratulated Abascal, saying it was impressive how his work ‘is already bearing fruit after only a few years.’

In Italy, Matteo Salvini of the right-wing League party tweeted a picture of himself next to Abascal with the text ‘Congratulations to Vox!’ above Spanish and Italian flags. 

And in the Netherlands, anti-Islam Dutch lawmaker Geert Wilders also posted a picture of himself and Abascal and wrote ‘FELICIDADES’ – Spanish for congratulations – with three thumbs-up emojis.

Sunday’s results means there will be no end to the stalemate between forces on the right and the left in Spain, suggesting the country could go many more weeks or even months without a new government.

Spain's socialist Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez called the fourth general election in as many years after his party failed to get enough seats in parliament to gain a working majority

Spain's socialist Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez called the fourth general election in as many years after his party failed to get enough seats in parliament to gain a working majority

Santiago Abascal, leader of far-right Vox Party

Santiago Abascal, leader of far-right Vox Party

Spain’s socialist Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez (left) called the fourth general election in as many years after his party failed to get enough seats in parliament to gain a working majority. He is up against Santiago Abascal, leader of far-right Vox Party 

A survey by Spain's public broadcaster released as the polls closed says the ruling Socialists are en route to win the country's second election this year but will be even further from putting together a parliamentary majority. Pictured: General Secretary of Unidas Podemos, Pablo Iglesias (centre) and spokeswoman of Unidas Podemos Irene Montero (left) arrives to electoral night in Madrid

A survey by Spain's public broadcaster released as the polls closed says the ruling Socialists are en route to win the country's second election this year but will be even further from putting together a parliamentary majority. Pictured: General Secretary of Unidas Podemos, Pablo Iglesias (centre) and spokeswoman of Unidas Podemos Irene Montero (left) arrives to electoral night in Madrid

A survey by Spain’s public broadcaster released as the polls closed says the ruling Socialists are en route to win the country’s second election this year but will be even further from putting together a parliamentary majority. Pictured: General Secretary of Unidas Podemos, Pablo Iglesias (centre) and spokeswoman of Unidas Podemos Irene Montero (left) arrives to electoral night in Madrid

The RTVE survey, which polled more than 13,000 voters between October 25 and Sunday's ballot, signalled that Spain may run into another political stalemate. In April, the Socialists won 123 seats in the parliament's lower house, 53 seats short of a majority. Pictured: Officials count ballots at a polling station in Ronda

The RTVE survey, which polled more than 13,000 voters between October 25 and Sunday's ballot, signalled that Spain may run into another political stalemate. In April, the Socialists won 123 seats in the parliament's lower house, 53 seats short of a majority. Pictured: Officials count ballots at a polling station in Ronda

The RTVE survey, which polled more than 13,000 voters between October 25 and Sunday’s ballot, signalled that Spain may run into another political stalemate. In April, the Socialists won 123 seats in the parliament’s lower house, 53 seats short of a majority. Pictured: Officials count ballots at a polling station in Ronda

Polls in the Canary Islands remain open for another hour. Local authorities of small town in northeastern Spain say that police have arrested a man who was carrying a pistol in a polling station in Sunday's national election. Pictured: The number two of ERC to the Parliament by Barcelona, Gabriel Rufian (first from left), and Pere Aragones

Polls in the Canary Islands remain open for another hour. Local authorities of small town in northeastern Spain say that police have arrested a man who was carrying a pistol in a polling station in Sunday's national election. Pictured: The number two of ERC to the Parliament by Barcelona, Gabriel Rufian (first from left), and Pere Aragones

Polls in the Canary Islands remain open for another hour. Local authorities of small town in northeastern Spain say that police have arrested a man who was carrying a pistol in a polling station in Sunday’s national election. Pictured: The number two of ERC to the Parliament by Barcelona, Gabriel Rufian (first from left), and Pere Aragones

Amposta Mayor Adam Tomas said the 70-year-old man was carrying the weapon in a bag and was arrested when he refused to show it police officers inside the polling station in the town in the region of Catalonia. Pictured: The head of the list of PSOE to the Parliament by Barcelona, Meritxell Batet voting

Amposta Mayor Adam Tomas said the 70-year-old man was carrying the weapon in a bag and was arrested when he refused to show it police officers inside the polling station in the town in the region of Catalonia. Pictured: The head of the list of PSOE to the Parliament by Barcelona, Meritxell Batet voting

Amposta Mayor Adam Tomas said the 70-year-old man was carrying the weapon in a bag and was arrested when he refused to show it police officers inside the polling station in the town in the region of Catalonia. Pictured: The head of the list of PSOE to the Parliament by Barcelona, Meritxell Batet voting

As of 6pm, 56.86 per cent of the country's 37 million eligible voters had cast their ballots, down from 60.74 per cent at the same time in the April 28 election

As of 6pm, 56.86 per cent of the country's 37 million eligible voters had cast their ballots, down from 60.74 per cent at the same time in the April 28 election

As of 6pm, 56.86 per cent of the country’s 37 million eligible voters had cast their ballots, down from 60.74 per cent at the same time in the April 28 election

The lower turnout had been expected, since recent polls suggested up to 35 per cent of voters could skip the country's fourth ballot since 2015 because they felt jaded by the political stalemate. Pictured: Noelia Vera of Unidas Podemos on electoral night

The lower turnout had been expected, since recent polls suggested up to 35 per cent of voters could skip the country's fourth ballot since 2015 because they felt jaded by the political stalemate. Pictured: Noelia Vera of Unidas Podemos on electoral night

The lower turnout had been expected, since recent polls suggested up to 35 per cent of voters could skip the country’s fourth ballot since 2015 because they felt jaded by the political stalemate. Pictured: Noelia Vera of Unidas Podemos on electoral night

Lower temperatures across Spain on Sunday and heavy rain in some northern provinces could have also contributed to people staying at home. Pictured: Government Action secretary of Podemos, Pablo Echenique

Lower temperatures across Spain on Sunday and heavy rain in some northern provinces could have also contributed to people staying at home. Pictured: Government Action secretary of Podemos, Pablo Echenique

Lower temperatures across Spain on Sunday and heavy rain in some northern provinces could have also contributed to people staying at home. Pictured: Government Action secretary of Podemos, Pablo Echenique

Analysts say lower turnout has traditionally hurt the country's left-wing parties. Pictured: The head of the Vox delegation at the European Parliament, Jorge Buxade, is seen giving a press conference in Madrid

Analysts say lower turnout has traditionally hurt the country's left-wing parties. Pictured: The head of the Vox delegation at the European Parliament, Jorge Buxade, is seen giving a press conference in Madrid

Analysts say lower turnout has traditionally hurt the country’s left-wing parties. Pictured: The head of the Vox delegation at the European Parliament, Jorge Buxade, is seen giving a press conference during the in Madrid

Officials are pictured counting ballot papers at a polling station in Ronda after Spain held general elections on Sunday

Officials are pictured counting ballot papers at a polling station in Ronda after Spain held general elections on Sunday

Officials are pictured counting ballot papers at a polling station in Ronda after Spain held general elections on Sunday

The mainstream conservative Popular Party rebounded from their previous debacle in the April vote to 87 seats from 66, a historic low. 

The far-left United We Can, which had a chance to help the Socialists form a left-wing government over the summer but rejected the offer, lost some ground to get 35 seats.

The undisputed loser of the night was the center-right Citizens party, which collapsed to 10 seats from 57 in April after its leader Albert Rivera refused to help the Socialists form a government and tried to copy some of Vox’s hard-line positions.

Sanchez’s chances of staying in power will still hinge on finally winning over the United We Can party and several regional parties, a complicated maneuver that he has failed to pull off over the past few months.

‘These elections have only served for the right to grow stronger and for Spain to have one of the strongest far-right parties in Europe,’ said United We Can leader Pablo Iglesias. ‘The only way to stop the far-right in Spain is to have a stable government. We again extend our hand to Pedro Sanchez.’

Vox has already joined forces with the Popular Party and Citizens to take over many city and regional governments in the past year. Those three groups would readily band together to oust Sanchez, who is seen by the right-wing opposition as too soft on the Catalan secessionist movement.    

Polls predict the party could jump from 5th place to become Spain's third-ranking party, after the ruling Socialists and the centre-right Popular Party, the group from which Vox's founders stem. Pictured: he secretary of the Organization Area of PSC, Salvador Illa Roca

Polls predict the party could jump from 5th place to become Spain's third-ranking party, after the ruling Socialists and the centre-right Popular Party, the group from which Vox's founders stem. Pictured: he secretary of the Organization Area of PSC, Salvador Illa Roca

Polls predict the party could jump from 5th place to become Spain’s third-ranking party, after the ruling Socialists and the centre-right Popular Party, the group from which Vox’s founders stem. Pictured: he secretary of the Organization Area of PSC, Salvador Illa Roca

Surrounded by supporters, Abascal, 43, said he did not have many expectations Sunday but hoped 'the election serves to reinforce Spanish unity.' Pictured: Votes being counted in Barcelona

Surrounded by supporters, Abascal, 43, said he did not have many expectations Sunday but hoped 'the election serves to reinforce Spanish unity.' Pictured: Votes being counted in Barcelona

Surrounded by supporters, Abascal, 43, said he did not have many expectations Sunday but hoped ‘the election serves to reinforce Spanish unity.’ Pictured: Votes being counted in Barcelona

Spain's Interior Ministry says turnout for Sunday's national election so far is 3.5 percentage points lower than the last ballot earlier this year. Pictured: Spanish conservative People's Party (PP) general secretary Teodoro Garcia Egea

Spain's Interior Ministry says turnout for Sunday's national election so far is 3.5 percentage points lower than the last ballot earlier this year. Pictured: Spanish conservative People's Party (PP) general secretary Teodoro Garcia Egea

Spain’s Interior Ministry says turnout for Sunday’s national election so far is 3.5 percentage points lower than the last ballot earlier this year. Pictured: Spanish conservative People’s Party (PP) general secretary Teodoro Garcia Egea

Spain's socialist Prime Minister's conservative rival Pablo Casado, of the People's Party, casts his vote in the capital. Polls suggest his party may gain several additional seats

Spain's socialist Prime Minister's conservative rival Pablo Casado, of the People's Party, casts his vote in the capital. Polls suggest his party may gain several additional seats

Spain’s socialist Prime Minister’s conservative rival Pablo Casado, of the People’s Party, casts his vote in the capital. Polls suggest his party may gain several additional seats

And far-right leader of Vox Santiago Abascal pictured casting his vote in the country's capital. The party, which favours 'drastic solutions' to the Catalonian independence question has seen a surge in the polls

And far-right leader of Vox Santiago Abascal pictured casting his vote in the country's capital. The party, which favours 'drastic solutions' to the Catalonian independence question has seen a surge in the polls

And far-right leader of Vox Santiago Abascal pictured casting his vote in the country’s capital. The party, which favours ‘drastic solutions’ to the Catalonian independence question has seen a surge in the polls

In Barcelona, Spain's Catalan leader Quim Torra casts his vote as daughter Helena Torra, wearing yellow, works at the polling station. This election has been marred by heightened tensions over Catalonian independence and a surge in support for Vox

In Barcelona, Spain's Catalan leader Quim Torra casts his vote as daughter Helena Torra, wearing yellow, works at the polling station. This election has been marred by heightened tensions over Catalonian independence and a surge in support for Vox

In Barcelona, Spain’s Catalan leader Quim Torra casts his vote as daughter Helena Torra, wearing yellow, works at the polling station. This election has been marred by heightened tensions over Catalonian independence and a surge in support for Vox

Temperatures have also run high on the election day. A Ciudadanos observer and a pro-independence JxCat party observer argue after a Ciudadanos spokesman Ines Arrimadas cast her vote at a polling station in Barcelona

Temperatures have also run high on the election day. A Ciudadanos observer and a pro-independence JxCat party observer argue after a Ciudadanos spokesman Ines Arrimadas cast her vote at a polling station in Barcelona

Temperatures have also run high on the election day. A Ciudadanos observer and a pro-independence JxCat party observer argue after a Ciudadanos spokesman Ines Arrimadas cast her vote at a polling station in Barcelona

A woman casts her vote in Madrid, Spain, today. The polls close at 8pm tonight, 9pm GMT, with results expected to be announced within the next few hours afterwards

A woman casts her vote in Madrid, Spain, today. The polls close at 8pm tonight, 9pm GMT, with results expected to be announced within the next few hours afterwards

A woman casts her vote in Madrid, Spain, today. The polls close at 8pm tonight, 9pm GMT, with results expected to be announced within the next few hours afterwards

Spanish citizens cast their votes in Madrid, Spain, today. The last election had a record turnout of 76 per cent, but the turnout for this election is expected to be lower as voters suffer from fatigue

Spanish citizens cast their votes in Madrid, Spain, today. The last election had a record turnout of 76 per cent, but the turnout for this election is expected to be lower as voters suffer from fatigue

Spanish citizens cast their votes in Madrid, Spain, today. The last election had a record turnout of 76 per cent, but the turnout for this election is expected to be lower as voters suffer from fatigue

Voters in Barcelona, Catalonia, arrive to cast their votes in Spain's general election. One is holding a dog

Voters in Barcelona, Catalonia, arrive to cast their votes in Spain's general election. One is holding a dog

Voters in Barcelona, Catalonia, arrive to cast their votes in Spain’s general election. One is holding a dog 

Julia Giobelina, a 34-year-old web designer from Madrid, was angry at having to vote for the second time this year but said she cast her ballot in hopes of stopping the rise of Vox.

‘They are the new fascism,’ Giobelina said. ‘We citizens need to stand against privatization of health care and other public services.’

Spain returned to democracy in the late 1970s after a near four-decade right-wing dictatorship under the late Gen. Francisco Franco. The country used to take pride in claiming that no far-right group had seats in the national Parliament, unlike the rest of Europe.

That changed in the spring, but the Socialists’ April victory was still seen by many as a respite for Europe, where right-wing parties had gained much ground.

Vox relied on its anti-migrant message and attacks on laws that protect women from domestic abuse as well as what it considers leftist ideology disguised as political correctness. Still, it does not advocate a break from the EU in the very pro-EU Spain.

But it has flourished after recent riots in Catalonia by separatists, capitalizing on Spanish nationalist sentiment stirred up by the country’s worst political conflict in decades. 

Many right-wingers were also not pleased by the Socialist government’s exhumation of Franco’s remains last month from his gargantuan mausoleum so he could no longer be exalted in a public place. 

Spaniards arrive to cast their votes in the general election - it is expected to return another hung parliament for the country

Spaniards arrive to cast their votes in the general election - it is expected to return another hung parliament for the country

Spaniards arrive to cast their votes in the general election – it is expected to return another hung parliament for the country

Spanish voters queue outside a polling station in Barcelona before casting their votes. No party is expected to win the crucial 176 seats required to gain a working majority in the parliament

Spanish voters queue outside a polling station in Barcelona before casting their votes. No party is expected to win the crucial 176 seats required to gain a working majority in the parliament

Spanish voters queue outside a polling station in Barcelona before casting their votes. No party is expected to win the crucial 176 seats required to gain a working majority in the parliament

A woman casts her vote in Madrid, Spain, during the country's general election. In a move that could garner further support the PSOE government has exhumed the body of the country's former dictator Francisco Franco

A woman casts her vote in Madrid, Spain, during the country's general election. In a move that could garner further support the PSOE government has exhumed the body of the country's former dictator Francisco Franco

A woman casts her vote in Madrid, Spain, during the country’s general election. In a move that could garner further support the PSOE government has exhumed the body of the country’s former dictator Francisco Franco

A woman in a wheelchair casts her vote in Barcelona, Spain. Tensions have been heightened due to calls for Catalan independence and protests in the streets leading up to the election

A woman in a wheelchair casts her vote in Barcelona, Spain. Tensions have been heightened due to calls for Catalan independence and protests in the streets leading up to the election

A woman in a wheelchair casts her vote in Barcelona, Spain. Tensions have been heightened due to calls for Catalan independence and protests in the streets leading up to the election

Two election workers watch as votes are cast in the country's capital Madrid. Polls close at 8pm, or 9pm tonight, with results expected a few hours after they close

Two election workers watch as votes are cast in the country's capital Madrid. Polls close at 8pm, or 9pm tonight, with results expected a few hours after they close

Two election workers watch as votes are cast in the country’s capital Madrid. Polls close at 8pm, or 9pm tonight, with results expected a few hours after they close

Dozens of people cheered and shouted ‘President! President!’ on Sunday as Abascal voted in Madrid.

‘Only by getting rid of Sanchez we can preserve Spain as it is, not by reaching agreements with the (Catalan) separatists,’ said Alfonso Pedro Monestilla, a 59-year-old civil servant who voted for Vox.

The debate over Catalonia, however, promises to fester.

The three Catalan separatist parties won a combined 23 seats on Sunday. Many Catalans have been angered by the decision last month by Spain’s Supreme Court, which sentenced to prison nine Catalan politicians and activists who led a 2017 drive for the region’s independence. 

The ruling has triggered massive daily protests in Catalonia that left more than 500 people injured, roughly half of them police officers, and dozens arrested.

More protests are expected beginning Monday.

Some of Catalonia’s 5.5 million voters said they wanted their vote to deliver a message that politicians had to resolve the situation.

‘We are a bit tired, but I hope that the Spanish government understands that there is no other remedy than taking us into account,’ said Cari Bailador, a retired teacher in Barcelona. 

Citizens arrive early in the morning to cast their vote in Madrid, Spain. PSOE is not expected to secure enough seats to form a majority in parliament

Citizens arrive early in the morning to cast their vote in Madrid, Spain. PSOE is not expected to secure enough seats to form a majority in parliament

Citizens arrive early in the morning to cast their vote in Madrid, Spain. PSOE is not expected to secure enough seats to form a majority in parliament

Barcelona's mayoress Ada Colau shakes hands with election workers as she arrives to cast her vote in Barcelona, Spain

Barcelona's mayoress Ada Colau shakes hands with election workers as she arrives to cast her vote in Barcelona, Spain

Barcelona’s mayoress Ada Colau shakes hands with election workers as she arrives to cast her vote in Barcelona, Spain

The key leaders in the fourth Spanish general election in as many years

PEDRO SANCHEZ’S SOCIALIST WORKERS’ PARTY (PSOE)

Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez with wife Maria Begona Gomez Fernandes goes to vote in Madrid, Spain

Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez with wife Maria Begona Gomez Fernandes goes to vote in Madrid, Spain

Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez with wife Maria Begona Gomez Fernandes goes to vote in Madrid, Spain

Socialist party leader Pedro Sanchez, 47, a trained economist, called the snap election after failing to secure support from other parties after winning the most votes, but no working majority, in an election in April.

Most opinion polls point to the PSOE re-emerging as the largest party but again landing far short of a majority, and probably with fewer seats than in the previous ballot, requiring the support of other parties to form a government.

Recent events, particularly tensions over separatism in Catalonia, have boosted right-wing parties and could reshape the distribution of seats.

On Oct. 24, Sanchez’s caretaker government removed the remains of late dictator General Francisco Franco from a state mausoleum in a historic, symbolically powerful step that could help him mobilize left-wing voters.

PSOE is Spain’s oldest active party and one of two that have dominated the political landscape since Franco’s rule ended with his death in 1975. It has been in government longest since then.

PABLO CASADO’S PEOPLE’S PARTY (PP)

Pablo Casado makes a statement before casting his vote in Spain's general election today

Pablo Casado makes a statement before casting his vote in Spain's general election today

Pablo Casado makes a statement before casting his vote in Spain’s general election today

A conservative, Christian democratic party, and the Socialists’ main rival for decades.

Pablo Casado, a 38-year-old lawyer and economist, became party leader a month after the government of Sanchez’s predecessor Mariano Rajoy was ousted by Sanchez last year.

He obtained PP’s worst ever election result in April with just 66 seats in the 350-seat house, but polls see PP faring much better next week, possibly putting Casado in the position of kingmaker.

Casado has promised to cut taxes and has called for Catalonia to be ‘reconquered’ following the northeastern region’s failed independence bid in 2017.

A critic of Sanchez’s handling of the Catalan issue, Casado is known as a defender of family values, the monarchy and the Catholic Church, and an opponent of abortion and euthanasia.

SANTIAGO ABASCAL’S VOX

Vox party leader Santiago Abascal pictured casting his vote in Madrid, Spain

Vox party leader Santiago Abascal pictured casting his vote in Madrid, Spain

Vox party leader Santiago Abascal pictured casting his vote in Madrid, Spain

An anti-immigration, nationalist party founded in 2013 by former PP members.

In April, Vox became the first far-right party to enter Spain’s parliament since the 1980s, with 24 seats, and polls show it could now become the third-biggest force there, with possibly as many as 44 seats.

Vox opposes gender equality laws and is strongly against autonomy for Spain’s regions.

Its leader Santiago Abascal, 43, is a tough-talking career politician from the Basque country, who harshly criticised the exhumation of Franco and who wants Catalan separatism quashed.

Echoing U.S. President Donald Trump’s anti-immigration rhetoric, he has called for a secure wall to be built around the Spanish enclaves of Ceuta and Melilla and for neighbouring Morocco to pay for it.

‘I am a supporter of discrimination,’ he told 7TV Andalucia in 2017.

ALBERT RIVERA’S CIUDADANOS (CITIZENS)

Pro-European Ciudadanos party leader Albert Rivera delivers a speech in July. He has also cast his vote today

Pro-European Ciudadanos party leader Albert Rivera delivers a speech in July. He has also cast his vote today

Pro-European Ciudadanos party leader Albert Rivera delivers a speech in July. He has also cast his vote today

A centre-right, pro-European party originally from Catalonia and part of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe that first won Spanish parliament seats in 2015.

Its leader, Albert Rivera, 39, worked in a bank before founding Ciudadanos in 2006.

Rivera, who backed Sanchez in his failed 2016 bid for premiership, refused him support after April election, leaving him no option but to seek support from left-wing Unidas Podemos.

Polls show Ciudadanos would lose seats after several senior figures quit over regional deals it has struck with the far-right. Ciudadanos is a stalwart defender of Spain’s unity and strongly opposes any concessions to separatists.

PABLO IGLESIAS’ UNIDAS PODEMOS (TOGETHER WE CAN)

Unidas Podemos general secretary Pablo Iglesias heads to cast his vote in La Navata, Spain, today

Unidas Podemos general secretary Pablo Iglesias heads to cast his vote in La Navata, Spain, today

Unidas Podemos general secretary Pablo Iglesias heads to cast his vote in La Navata, Spain, today

An alliance of left-wing Podemos, United Left, and other parties, created in the run-up to the 2016 election and rooted in the anti-austerity protest movement. The name was tweaked in 2019 to make it female to reflect its pro-feminism stance.

Its leader, political scientist and lecturer Pablo Iglesias, 41, founded Podemos in 2014.

Podemos had tried in vain to negotiate a governing coalition deal with PSOE up to the very last minute in September, but Sanchez ultimately refused to give them cabinet posts, saying that Iglesias’ excessive demands had torpedoed such a solution.

News

Flashpoint: How new medicinal cannabis regulations will change lives

Published

on

By

The WA government has announced they are making changes to allow general practitioners to be able to prescribe medicinal cannabis to the vast majority of patients.

WA health minister Roger Cook made the announcement on Monday night’s Flashpoint and the changes are set to impact the lives of many ill West Australians.

Watch the video above

Previously, patients have needed approval from a specialist as well as their GP, a requirement that has dramatically impacted waiting times to access the drug.

“We have been doing this three-year study, we have more evidence to rely upon and make a safer judgement about the availability and how people can access this important drug,” Cook told Monday night’s panel.

“I’m very pleased to announce … that we will be making changes effective immediately to allow general practitioners to be able to prescribe medicinal cannabis to the vast majority of patients.”

Cook went onto explain there would still be appropriate measures in place to safeguard vulnerable patients such as children and those who are drug dependent.

“Those vulnerable patients, those who are drug dependent and young children of course, still need the backing of a specialist,” he said.

“We will now allow general practitioners to prescribe the drug.”

The regulations

The deputy premier also revealed the government is planning to go one step further and also make changes to the regulations.

“In relation to the regulations, we have a state panel which oversights this whole process – we will disband this panel in Western Australia,” he said.

“So now general practitioners utilising the online portal will be able to provide access to this drug, to their patients within 48 hours.”

More on 7NEWS.com.au

This major announcement means that Western Australia will now be aligned with other states such as Victoria and South Australia when it comes to accessing medicinal cannabis.

The reaction

The AMA WA president Dr Andrew Miller said that while he’s happy with what he called a natural progression, they will want to see the research and trials surrounding the decision.

He also reiterated that he’s glad there are still measures to safeguard vulnerable patients in place.

“I’m pleased to see that those patients who are particularly vulnerable, there’s still that backup system of a second pair of eyes over the whole arrangement,” he said.

Fleta Solomon from Little Green Pharma called it a decision that everyone will be happy about.

“You have just changed the lives of thousands of West Australians,” she said.

The cost

While this decision will have a huge impact, Cook did point out that a lot more needs to be done about the expensive cost of the drug.

“We have a lot more work to do around the pricing, I have recently written to the health minister Greg Hunt to say look this is an issue and we need to as a nation be able to address it,” he said.

Watch Flashpoint on Monday nights on 7 at 9pm after Bride & Prejudice.

You can also join the conversation on the Flashpoint Facebook page.

Continue Reading

News

Queen’s cousin caught speeding in Porsche 

Published

on

By

The Queen’s cousin has been handed three penalty points after he was caught speeding in his Porsche.

George Ivar Louis Mountbatten, the 4th Marquess of Milford Haven, admitted speeding at 62mph in a 50mph zone on the M27 near Southampton, Hampshire, on May 20 this year.

The Marquess founded the internet company uSwitch, the price comparison and switching website, and sold it for more than £100 million. 

Both his son and daughter have previously appeared in court charged with speeding. 

George Ivar Louis Mountbatten, the 4th Marquess of Milford Haven, pictured with his wife Clare at an election night party in London in 2017

George Ivar Louis Mountbatten, the 4th Marquess of Milford Haven, pictured with his wife Clare at an election night party in London in 2017

George Ivar Louis Mountbatten, the 4th Marquess of Milford Haven, pictured with his wife Clare at an election night party in London in 2017 

He was fined £100, ordered to pay £85 costs and a £30 victim surcharge.

Three points were added to his licence.

Lord Milford Haven is the great grandson of Louis Mountbatten, the 1st Marquess of Milford Haven, who died in 1921 and was Prince Philip’s grandfather.

In 2012, the marquess’s son Lord Henry David Mountbatten, then 21, was fined for driving at 70mph in a 40mph zone in west London. 

He avoided a driving ban at the time after claiming he could not afford to take a train and a taxi to his regular flying lessons.

Last month, his daughter Lady Tatiana Mountbatten admitted a string of offences in her 2018 £50,000 Porsche Macan.

The 29-year-old accepted breaking the speed limit three times in ten days but is seeking to hold on to her license as she claims she needs the vehicle to get to equestrian events. 

George Ivar Louis Mountbatten, the Marquess of Milford Haven with his wife Clair Milford Haven, brother Lord Ivar and Lady Penny Mountbatten on the balcony of Buckingham Palace at Trooping the Colour in 2005

George Ivar Louis Mountbatten, the Marquess of Milford Haven with his wife Clair Milford Haven, brother Lord Ivar and Lady Penny Mountbatten on the balcony of Buckingham Palace at Trooping the Colour in 2005

George Ivar Louis Mountbatten, the Marquess of Milford Haven with his wife Clair Milford Haven, brother Lord Ivar and Lady Penny Mountbatten on the balcony of Buckingham Palace at Trooping the Colour in 2005 

Last month, the marquess's daughter Lady Tatiana Mountbatten (pictured) admitted a string of offences in her 2018 £50,000 Porsche Macan

Last month, the marquess's daughter Lady Tatiana Mountbatten (pictured) admitted a string of offences in her 2018 £50,000 Porsche Macan

Last month, the marquess’s daughter Lady Tatiana Mountbatten (pictured) admitted a string of offences in her 2018 £50,000 Porsche Macan

In paperwork submitted to the court Lady Tatiana claimed that she needs to be able to drive her 2018 Porsche Macan as part of her job as a dressage rider and will suffer ‘exceptional hardship’ if she loses her licence.

The car is a 2018 plate and the Macan model retails at roughly around £50,000 brand new.

Lady Tatiana’s car was first clocked driving at 70mph in a 60mph zone on March 1 on the M4 near the Heston service station, Brentford.

She was then spotted again on March 6 travelling at 71mph and once more on March 10 at 70mph.

The offences were all on the same stretch of road near the service station. Lady Tatiana, who lives in Chelsea, admitted three speeding offences. She will be sentenced on 6 December at Lavender Hill Magistrates court.

The marquess’s younger brother, Lord Ivar Alexander Michael Mountbatten, recently appeared on Bear Grylls’ TV show Treasure Island,  where contestants are dumped on a desert island and given the chance to search for money that has been hidden there.

Lord Ivar, a divorced father of three, became the first member of the Queen’s extended family to have a same-sex wedding last year.  

Continue Reading

News

Horrifying moment Russian historian, 63, ‘throws body parts into river’

Published

on

By

This CCTV footage shows a Russian military historian allegedly throwing his dead lover’s body parts into a river after murdering her at his home.  

Oleg Sokolov, 63, is believed to have shot dead his 24-year-old lover Anastasia Yeschenko before dismembering her body. 

Police say Sokolov disposed of the body parts in St Petersburg’s Moyka river before drunkenly falling into the water himself. 

He was hauled out of the river suffering from hypothermia and carrying a backpack containing a woman’s arms.  

Sokolov, a leading historian at Vladimir Putin’s former university who liked to dress as Napoleon, yesterday confessed to the murder which has shocked Russia. 

Disposal? This CCTV footage shows Russian military historian Oleg Sokolov allegedly throwing his dead lover's body parts into a river in St Petersburg

Disposal? This CCTV footage shows Russian military historian Oleg Sokolov allegedly throwing his dead lover's body parts into a river in St Petersburg

Disposal? This CCTV footage shows Russian military historian Oleg Sokolov allegedly throwing his dead lover’s body parts into a river in St Petersburg 

Couple: Oleg Sokolov, 63, is believed to have shot dead his 24-year-old lover Anastasia Yeschenko (pictured together) before dismembering her body

Couple: Oleg Sokolov, 63, is believed to have shot dead his 24-year-old lover Anastasia Yeschenko (pictured together) before dismembering her body

Couple: Oleg Sokolov, 63, is believed to have shot dead his 24-year-old lover Anastasia Yeschenko (pictured together) before dismembering her body

Accused: Oleg Sokolov is pictured in court today at the Oktyabrsky District Court

Accused: Oleg Sokolov is pictured in court today at the Oktyabrsky District Court

Accused: Oleg Sokolov is pictured in court today at the Oktyabrsky District Court 

‘He has admitted his guilt,’ Sokolov’s lawyer Alexander Pochuev said, adding he regretted what he had done and was co-operating. 

The new CCTV footage allegedly shows him throwing three packages into the icy water near his home, as an unsuspecting cyclist walks past. 

When he came back with more body parts, he fell into the river as he tried to dispose of the arms, it is claimed.  

New details today emerged in the case, with claims that the professor hosted a party in his luxury apartment with his lover’s body locked in a spare room.  

Yeschenko had been shot at least four times with a rifle after an argument, it is claimed. 

Police discovered Anastasia’s decapitated body and a blood-stained saw at the historian’s home.  

A custody hearing was due to be held today with Sokolov under criminal investigation for murder and facing a possible 15 years in prison. 

Yeschenko (pictured) had allegedly been shot at least four times with a rifle after an argument

Yeschenko (pictured) had allegedly been shot at least four times with a rifle after an argument

The victim's body and a blood-stained saw were found at the historian's home, it is claimed

The victim's body and a blood-stained saw were found at the historian's home, it is claimed

Yeschenko (pictured) had been shot at least four times with a rifle after an argument, and her decapitated body and a blood-stained saw were found at the historian’s home, it is claimed 

Sokolov was a professor at St Petersburg University and would often dress up as Napoleon (he is pictured above in 2012 wearing an 1812-era French uniform)

Sokolov was a professor at St Petersburg University and would often dress up as Napoleon (he is pictured above in 2012 wearing an 1812-era French uniform)

Sokolov was a professor at St Petersburg University and would often dress up as Napoleon (he is pictured above in 2012 wearing an 1812-era French uniform)

The victim’s mother Galina Yeschenko, 49, is a police lieutenant-colonel who travelled from Krasnodar to identify her daughter.

Her father Oleg Yeschenko said: ‘I was not personally acquainted with [Sokolov]. But Anastasia never said anything bad about him.

‘So what happened shocked us.’ 

Sokolov met his first wife – also called Anastasia – when he was a 34-year-old schoolteacher and she was his teenage student, according to reports. She later died of cancer.

The professor, who works at St Petersburg State University, is separated from his second wife Anna.

She is said to have known about his relationship with Yeschenko, who was another of his students.

Anastasia’s brother said that she had called him to say she had rowed with Sokolov after she said she wanted to attend a birthday party for a male friend, according to Komsomolskaya Pravda.

She had been ‘crying’ and he had ‘told her to leave him at once,’ he said. 

Rescuers examine the Moika River yesterday where were the remains were found

Rescuers examine the Moika River yesterday where were the remains were found

Rescuers examine the Moika River yesterday where were the remains were found

Sokolov (pictured) was hauled out of the river suffering from hypothermia and carrying a backpack containing a woman's arms

Sokolov (pictured) was hauled out of the river suffering from hypothermia and carrying a backpack containing a woman's arms

Sokolov (pictured) was hauled out of the river suffering from hypothermia and carrying a backpack containing a woman’s arms 

Sokolov is well known for re-enacting parts of the Napoleonic wars and there are reports that he planned to end his own life while dressed as the French emperor. 

Both he and his lover studied French history and liked to wear period costumes, with Sokolov dressing up as Napoleon.

Students described Sokolov as both a talented lecturer who could impersonate the French emperor and his generals and a ‘freak’ who called his lover ‘Josephine’ and liked to be addressed as ‘Sire’. 

There were claims that Sokolov had shown hostile behaviour in the past but that complaints had been ignored. 

‘What happened is simply monstrous,’ a Saint Petersburg State University lecturer said. 

The professor was president of the Russian Association of Military History and is now a member of the body’s scientific council.

He received France’s Legion d’Honneur in 2003, and had previously taught at the prestigious Paris-Sorbonne University. 

Continue Reading

Trending

Copyright © 2019 DiazHub.