Spain will have progressive government, says far-left party Sumar

Spain will have progressive government, says far-left party Sumar

Conservative Popular Party's chances to form government appear slim as parties rally to left-wing bloc

By Alyssa McMurtry

OVIEDO, Spain (AA) — Yolanda Diaz, Spain's deputy prime minister and the leader of far-left party Sumar, assured Spanish citizens on Tuesday that a progressive government would be in power for another term in the country.

"The voters have spoken and said they don't want a government with Popular Party and Vox. There's no doubt we'll have a progressive government in Spain," she told Spanish broadcaster La Sexta.

Spain's left-wing bloc defied expectations during Sunday's national election. While the conservative Popular Party came in first place, it fell short of winning the majority needed to easily form a government, even with its allies, the far-right party Vox.

In the days since the vote, Popular Party leader Alberto Nunez Feijoo suggested he had the support of two tiny regional parties, but even with those votes, they fall short of a majority.

On Tuesday, Feijoo said his party would contact the previous Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez and his Socialist Party, asking for its support. However, after a campaign based on attacking Sanchez's government and vowing to undo "Sanchism," chances that the Socialist Party would back a Popular Party government appear to be virtually nil.

Meanwhile, Diaz said her far-left party Sumar is ready to negotiate a coalition government with the Socialists and rally the support of regional parties.

On Monday, the conservative Basque Party PNV, positioned to be a kingmaker, stated in no uncertain terms that it would not back the Popular Party and Vox. Instead, it says it is open to negotiating a beneficial agreement to support the left-wing bloc.

Other progressive regional parties have also come out in favor of backing a coalition government led by Sanchez and Diaz.

Also holding a key to government, the Catalan separatist party Junts Per Catalunya, headed by exiled leader Carles Puigdemont, may be the left's thorniest ally. Given the Popular Party's hardline stance on Catalonia, a second Sanchez government would appeal more to the Catalan nationalists, but they've also made it clear they intend to block government formation if they don't get their way.

On Sunday night, Miriam Nogueras, who led the party in the elections, said: "We won't make Sanchez president in exchange for nothing, and we won't budge a millimeter from our positions."

Throughout the campaign, the party had said it would not support a party that does not either offer amnesty for exiled politicians like Puigdemont or hold a binding independence referendum, two points that Sanchez has so far refused.

If the left-wing bloc does not secure the support or abstention of these parties, Spain could be forced to go back to the polls.

Meanwhile, Sanchez has told his Socialist Party politicians to take a break now before taking up serious negotiations come August.

On Aug. 17, Spain's politicians will reconvene in parliament to begin voting for government formation.

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