Voters in Spain’s autonomous communities of Basque and Galicia have gone to the polls in regional parliamentary elections, the results of which may help break a political stalemate that has gripped the country for nine months.
Elections got underway in the regions on Sunday amid a climate of instability in national politics as the government in Madrid lacks full powers because the conservative Popular Party (PP), while having won two previous general elections — in December and June 2015 — failed to achieve a majority in them and form a coalition with other parties.
The ongoing elections are of particular interest to mainstream parties, particularly the Socialist Party (PSOE), which may lose ground to nationalist groupings. Opinion polls say the PSOE will fare badly.
“If we don’t have a good score, they will use that to try to overthrow Pedro Sanchez,” said a source close to the Socialist leader.
Sanchez lacks popularity among political parties and has been urged to allow a right-wing coalition government led by acting Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy to come to power.
Among the nine parties competing for 75 parliamentary seats, the Basque country’s ruling moderate nationalist party (PNV) is projected to win the elections with a majority.