MADRID – In a decisive day to shed some light on the current Spanish political panorama, the autonomical elections being held on Sunday in Galicia and the Basque Country (Euskadi) had registered by Midday a higher voter turn-out and lack of incidents, compared to the previous 2012 elections.
By Noon, the percentage of Galician voters who had cast their ballots was of 14.97 percent, 2.2 points over the 2012 figures, while in the Basque Country, the voters turnout was of 15.4 percent, 0.6 percent more than the previous 2012 elections.
Despite the overall lack of incidents, the Ertzaintza (Basque police) withdrew some political content billboards from two electoral colleges, (Spain forbids any political campaigning on election day), while in Galicia minor mishaps took place due to delays in opening some electoral colleges or missing voting materials.
These are also the second autonomous elections in the Basque Country without the menace of ETA, the Basque terrorist organization, after it announced a final cease fire back in 2011.
The Lehendakari (President of the Basque government) and incumbent candidate of the Partido Nacionalista Vasco (PNV) to preside the Basque government, Iñigo Urkullu, voted in the town of Durango, where he expressed hopes that these elections will “mean for Euskadi to continue being itself, unique and different.”
In Vitoria, the Basque independentist EH-Bildu coalition’s candidate, Miren Larrion, who has been placed under the electoral spotlight after the barring of Arnaldo Otegi, asked the Basques to cast their ballots “with illusion” and to cast aside “any despair and sadness.”
The ballot boxes in Euskadi will enable 1,783,414 Basques to vote their new autonomous parliament, that is, 8,078 citizens more than four years ago.
In Galicia the figure exceeds 2.2 million eligible voters, to which a further 450,000 voters living abroad must be added, most of them in South America.
The Galician candidate of the conservative Partido Popular (PP), Alberto Nuñez Feijoo, who aspires to become re-elected expressed his wish the ballot boxes send “a message full of hope for the future and prosperity for Galicia.”
The polls preceding the election forecast the victory of the currently governing parties in both autonomous regions: the PP in Galicia and the PNV in The Basque country.
These elections take place against an interim Spanish political background since the December 2015 General Elections that drew a fragmented Spanish Congress that, without hardly any variation, happened again during June’s repeat elections.