Spanish election campaign begins

Tense atmosphere for Spanish Election Campaign which begins at midnight

The Spanish president, José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero, and the leader of IU, Gaspar Llamazares, will begin their parties’ respective election campaigns in Madrid while the leader of the PP, Rajoy, will start his party’s campaign in Cádiz.

Pre-election campaigning ended with tension rising on both sides when when Rajoy and Zapatero crossed words. Rajoy accused Zapatero of creating a tense situation and blamed him for the verbal attacks and interuptions suffered by opposition members Rosa Díez, María San Gil and Dolors Nadal when visiting various Spanish universities over the last few weeks.

Official campaigning for the general election begins at midnight tonight and will continue until March 7th, leaving the traditional one day of reflection before the general election which is due to take place on 9th March. According to the latest polls there is no clear leader and a significant percentage of the electorate remains undecided.

The socialists will begin their campaign in the Palacio Municipal de Congresos del Campo de las Naciones, in Madrid with Zapatero together with the minister for Education, the PSOE candidate Mercedes Cabrera and the general secretary of PSOE in Madrid, Tomás Gómez.

Today PSOE presented their three new election campaign videos which can be seen in In one of them a man collects his mother from a village to take her to vote even though she is a PP supporter, in another a young voter is excited about having the right to vote for the first time and in the last one an elderly member of the population is pleased that Zapatero has raised Spain’s profile.

Rajoy will begin the PP’s election campaign in Càdiz together with the PP candidate for presidency of the Andalucian regional government, Javier Arenas, and the PP candidate Teófila Martínez.

Cádiz has a special symbolic meaning for the PP for several reasons. Rajoy has called the city a modern symbol of Spanish constitutionalism due to the fact that the constitution was signed there in 1812. In addition, Rajoy began the PP’s campaign for a national referendum on the Catalan statute on 31st January 2006.

Gaspar Llamazares, the leader of IU will open his party’s campaign in a former abattoir in Arganzuela, Madrid. The IU candiates Joaquín Nieto, Montserrat Muñoz and Marisa Castro, will also take part.

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