Spain's PM Sanchez weakened by defeat in Galicia regional election

  • World
  • Monday, 19 Feb 2024

File photo: Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez and First Deputy Prime Minister Maria Jesus Montero attend a debate on the legislative proposal to grant amnesty to those involved in Catalonia's failed independence bid in 2017, in Madrid, Spain January 30, 2024. REUTERS/Ana Beltran/File photo

MADRID (Reuters) - Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez emerged weakened from Sunday's parliamentary elections in the northwestern region of Galicia after his Socialist party (PSOE) won just nine seats in the 75-seat assembly.

The conservative People's Party (PP) maintained its outright majority after winning 40 seats, while PSOE's far-left coalition ally Sumar failed to win a single seat, according to official results. The Nationalist Galician Bloc (BNG) gained six seats to 25.

In the first significant election since he secured another term as prime minister, Sanchez was hoping a better-than-expected economic performance would offset opposition to the political concessions made to Catalan separatists in exchange for their support.

"The results made it clear: the Socialists had the worst result on record. A bad night for the Socialist Party," political consultancy Nitid wrote in a report.

The victory bolsters PP's national leader Alberto Nunez Feijoo, who faced questions over his leadership after failing to unseat Sanchez in last year's national election.

The PP has governed in Galicia for all but four of the past 35 years and Feijoo was the region's president before stepping down to lead the party.

After failing to form his own coalition with the hard-right Vox party, Feijoo has consistently attacked Sanchez on plans to offer an amnesty to Catalan separatists in exchange for their support.

(Reporting by Inti Landauro and Emma Pinedo; editing by Charlie Devereux and Ros Russell)

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