Basque Country: Incumbent Coalition Looks Set to Retain Power

In Sunday’s regional election in Spain’s Basque Country, the ruling coalition appeared poised to retain power, with the conservative nationalists tying in seat count with their left-wing separatist rivals.

The Basque Nationalist Party (PNV) and EH Bildu (“Basque Country Unite”) both secured 27 seats, falling short of the 38 needed for a majority in the regional parliament.

However, the PNV secured nearly 30,000 more votes than Bildu, which increased its seat count by six from the previous 2020 election.

Following the vote count, Imanol Pradales, the PNV’s main candidate, addressed jubilant supporters, emphasising the importance of respecting the diverse electorate’s choices.

Despite the deadlock between the PNV and Bildu, the Socialist Party emerged as a pivotal player with 12 seats.

Since 2016, the Socialists have been the junior coalition partner of the PNV, solidifying their position as kingmaker in the current political landscape.

This election held significant implications beyond the regional level, as Spain’s national government, led by Socialist Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez, relies on the support of both Basque parties and Catalan separatists in a fragmented parliament. Criticism has been directed at Sanchez for his alliances with separatist parties, a sentiment echoed during the Basque campaign.

The Socialists distanced themselves from Bildu, indicating a preference for supporting the PNV.

EH Bildu, established in 2012 as a coalition of left-wing parties, has faced scrutiny for its perceived association with the now-defunct armed group ETA.

While Bildu has publicly renounced violence, its candidate Pello Otxandiano refrained from explicitly condemning the group during the campaign.

Additionally, the left-wing party Sumar, part of the national government coalition, secured its first seat in the Basque parliament. Meanwhile, the conservative People’s Party obtained seven seats, and the far-right Vox secured one.

Despite its political complexities, the Basque Country boasts one of Europe’s highest regional GDPs per capita.

Since the complete dissolution of ETA in 2018, there have been no attempts at secession, marking a significant shift in the region’s political landscape.

Overall, the outcome of the regional election reflects the diverse political landscape of the Basque Country, characterized by a balance of power between conservative nationalists, left-wing separatists, and the influential Socialist Party.

The inability of any single party to secure a majority underscores the necessity of coalition-building and negotiation in governing the region effectively.

As Spain grapples with broader political challenges, including issues of separatism and coalition governance, the outcome of the Basque election holds implications for the country’s future political direction and stability.

Click here for more News & Current Affairs at EU Today

Main Image: By Iker Merodio – originally posted to Flickr as Parlamento Vasco, CC BY 2.0,


Follow EU Today on social media:

Twitter: @EU_today





On Top