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Spanish Socialists win election, far-right party advances

(Xinhua)    12:25, November 11, 2019

MADRID, Nov. 10 -- Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez's Spanish Socialist Party (PSOE) won the national election on Sunday, but far-right Vox party made strong gains.

With over 99 percent of the votes counted, the PSOE won at least 28 percent of the votes, which meant it captured 120 seats, down three from the last election in April and far from a parliamentary majority of 176 needed to form a government alone.

"The Socialist Party has won the elections for the third time this year. April 28th, in May (European elections) and on November 10th, so first of all I want to thank the millions of Spaniards, who have participated, because that is good for democracy," said Sanchez.

"Our project is to form a stable government and to carry out politics for the Spanish people so I want to call all of the political parties so they act responsibly to unblock the political situation in Spain," he said.

The conservative People's Party (PP) won 20.8 percent and 88 seats, up from 66 seats in the previous election.

"We have shown we are strong," said Pablo Casado, the leader of the PP, adding his party enjoyed "a good electoral result."

The far-right Vox party won 15.1 percent and 52 seats, rocketing from 24 seats and making Vox the third leading party in the Congress of Deputies.

"11 months ago we were not in any regional legislature in Spain. Today we are the third-largest party in Spain and the party that has grown the most in votes and seats," said Vox leader Santiago Abascal.

The left-wing Unidas Podemos suffered a major setback, down from 42 seats to 35 seats.

Unidas Podemos leader Pablo Iglesias said the elections served for Spain to have "one of the strongest far-right parties in Europe", expressing his willingness to support Sanchez to form a coalition government.

"This is a historic chance to stop the rise of the extreme right wing in our country," said Iglesias.

The election was held in the shadow of the violent disturbances in the Catalan region of north-east Spain, which broke out after nine leaders of separatist movements were sentenced to prison for an attempt to break away the region from Spain two years ago.

The PSOE and PP dominated Spanish politics for more than three decades, taking turns to rule the country. But political fragmentation has disrupted their duopoly.

Political difficulties have also affected the economic growth of Spain. The European Union on Nov. 7 reduced the country's growth forecast from 2.3 percent to 1.9 percent.

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Web editor: Wen Ying, Bianji)

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