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No Christmas Day elections: PP, PSOE and Ciudadanos agree to shorten campaign by a week
22 October 2016 @ 22:10

AN EXPRESS electoral reform to avoid Spaniards having to go to the polls on Christmas Day has been approved with votes in favour by three of the main political parties.

The left-wing PSOE, or socialists, plus its direct rivals and current acting government, the right-wing PP, and Spain's fourth-largest political force, the centre-right Ciudadanos, all voted to shorten the electoral campaign period by one week, moving voting day forward to Sunday, December 18.

The third-largest political force, Unidos Podemos, along with pro-secession outfits Catalunya Left Republicans (ERC) and the Basque National Party (PNV) abstained.

Once Parliament is dissolved and the King convenes a general election, a total of 54 days will then elapse before the country goes to the polls, during which parties campaign until two days before the actual election.

These are always held on a Sunday, and the Saturday of that weekend is known as 'Reflection Day', when politicians are no longer able to take part in any campaign activities and, effectively, get the day off.

During the 54-day pre-election period, strict limitations on acting government activities are imposed, including a ban on official openings of public services or facilities.

All this is assuming Spain will, in fact, have to go through a third general election – but the probability of this seems higher by the day.

In the two previous sessions, the PP has been the most-voted party but failed to obtain anywhere near a majority, and only a coalition of the other three would be able to oust them and form a government – and only a high number of them voting in favour in the in-house electoral round would allow PP leader Mariano Rajoy to be invested as president.


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