Small left-wing parties in Spain unite ahead of July elections in pact that could help Sánchez

MADRID (AP) – Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez’s chances of being re-elected after July’s elections received a potentially big boost following an agreement among more than a dozen small left-wing parties to present on a common ticket, an agreement that should provide key support to the socialists of Sánchez in all the post-election negotiations to form the government.

The agreement signed on Friday night ended days of intense negotiations and was sealed at the last moment by an agreement between Deputy Prime Minister Yolanda Díaz’s new alliance, Sumar, and the small but influential coalition partner extreme left of the socialists, United We Can, or Podémos.

Podemos and 14 other groups would be part of the Sumar alliance for the election, Sumar said.

Sumar, which means add or unite in Spanish, had to be officially registered later Friday as a political group to contest the elections.

Sánchez called a snap general election for July 23 last week after the Socialist Party and United We Can were badly beaten in local and regional elections on May 28.

The fragmentation of parties to the left of the Socialists has been blamed for many of the regional and local electoral losses.

The May vote saw Spain swing sharply to the right, making the main opposition conservative People’s Party, or PP, the main political force in the country.

Most polls give the PP a victory in July, but predict that it will need the support of the far-right Vox party.

But the new deal between the country’s smaller left-wing parties could help Sánchez form a new coalition government, especially since Díaz and Sánchez are two of the country’s most popular politicians.

“While a PP-led government after the elections is the most likely scenario at this stage, an increase in support for left-wing parties could still help Sanchez stay in power,” said Antonio Barroso, deputy director of the research at Teneo, based in London. think tank, in a memo this week.

“Without such an agreement (on the unity of the left party), the distribution of votes between the different parties would probably penalize the left, allowing the PP and Vox to more easily reach the threshold of 176 seats”, for a majority in Parliament, he added.

Sumar did not run in the May elections.

The Socialists have led the minority coalition government since 2019, but internal disputes with United We Can and several controversial laws have taken their toll.

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