Euroresiuk

Basque nationalists lose overall majority

Ibarretxe wins Basque elections but lacks overall majority to govern

José Ibarretxe, the present lehendakari, won his fourth consecutive victory for the PNV (Conservative Basque Nationalist Party) in yesterday’s elections for the Basque regional government. The PNV won only 30 seats which means that it does not have an overall majority and lacks any guaranteed right to govern. As the numbers stand the PSE-EE won 24 seats, the PP 13 seats and the UPyD just 1. All of these parties together have enough votes to out vote the PNV which does not hold enough seats to give it an overall majority.

The results of yesterday’s elections means that the composition of a Basque government on the basis of the results will be extremely complicated. One of the problems is that the vote for former allies of the PNV the EA (Eusko Alkartasuna) and EB (izquierda unida) collapsed. Votes for EB plummeted leaving it with just 1 seat and EA were left just 2 seats. Aralar won 4 seats. Therefore Ibarretxe faces a difficult process of negotiation although he says that he is prepared to tall to ‘anyone’.

Patxi López, the leader of PSE-EE has for the first time in the history of the autonomous region of Euskadi has got the possibility of forming a government in his sights. However, at the same time the idea of forming a pact with the PP is not very appealing. Nevertheless the results of yesterday’s elections for the PSE-EE under Patxi López were very good with an increase from 19 to 24 in the number of seats for his party in the Basque parliament.

Meanwhile the izquierda abertzale (radical Basque left) who were not allowed to put forward any candidates in the Basque elections due to their links with ETA mean that for the first time they will not be represented in the Basque parliament. Their leaders asked for their supporters to spoil their voting papers so that an idea of the number of their supporters could be estimated.

According to yesterday’s results they have around 100,000 supporters – a figure which shows a significant decrease in support compared to the elections results for 2005.