Spanish King Approves June Election as Fractured Parliament Continues

May 6, 2016Spainby EW News Desk Team

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By official decree, King Felipe VI approved a new election for June 26 after December elections resulted in a fractured parliament, according to the Associated Press. The June election marks the first reelection since Spain was under dictatorship and the southern European nation will remain under a caretaker government as political parties fail to reach a consensus. Experts warn that Spain’s economic gains could be in jeopardy if the next election fails to bring a resolution.

The decree effectively dissolves parliament, and the king is hoping a new election would usher in stability after parties failed to reach a majority during December elections. The past four months have been contentious as politicians wrangle for power and cannot find common ground, stoking further uncertainty.

Though Spain has made significant strides in the past few years, the economy has left many people behind, explaining the rise of anti-austerity parties like Podemos. Podemos is one among multiple parties that gained additional seats during the last election, but must share power with the mainline Socialist Party, Ciudadanos, and other parties.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy resides over the caretaker government and he is aiming for another term, but his center-right Popular Party could be at the mercy of opposing parties if opposition leaders come to an agreement in the future.

Although the drama is not affecting Spain in the short-term, experts fear that the uncertainty could result in trepidation from the business community. Spain is expected to grow 2.6 in 2016 and 2.5 in 2017, an above-average growth rate in Europe, but it is not clear how a new parliament would govern the nation going forward.

Spaniards have not seen this type of instability since the death of fascist leader Francisco Franco in 1975, resulting in the restoration of democracy. Analysts predict that the June election will do little in solving the political crisis and could lead to another election shortly thereafter.

Analysts are not certain how many projects and business ventures have been forestalled because of the gridlock, but prolonged stalemates will make the situation worse while enraging voters in the process.

The conservatives could advance in power due to widespread voter apathy, but Podemos could upend the Socialist Party through an alliance with the United Left Coalition, gaining an upper hand over rightist leaders. Regardless of the June outcome, all parties must appeal to the concerns of voters, as many Spaniards view the entire government as corrupt, while also failing to address their needs.

Spain’s government has been embroiled in several scandals, including within the royal family, fueling perceptions of a state that is out of touch, and incorrigible in terms of governance.

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