Spanish Elections: Triple Whammy

This month’s general election will highlight three key conundrums of Spanish politics.

The World Today Updated 16 October 2020 Published 1 March 2004 4 minute READ

Monica Threlfall

Senior Lecturer in Politics at Loughborough University

The first is whether the passionate opposition to the war in Iraq, which sparked bigger demonstrations than in any other European country, will come to haunt a government that supported the US-British invasion. The second is whether the electorate will punish the governing Partido Popular for taking a hard line against Europe’s longest lasting terror campaign in the Basque region, while exacerbating problems over separatism. Thirdly, will Spaniards resist territorial dismemberment at the hands of a democratically elected separatist party?

If the answer is no to all three dilemmas and the governing Partido Popular is re-elected for a third term, then prime ministers everywhere should take note. For Prime Minister José María Aznar, who announced his intention years ago to hand over the leadership at the end of his second term and handpicked his successor, will have earned trust despite the problems.

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