Spain prepares to go to the polls as country divided over hard-Right party Vox

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As well as the emergence of Vox, the obscure anti-bullfighting animal rights party Pacma is predicted to win its first-ever seats.

And as the defence of Spain’s cultural symbols has come to the fore, the PP has put up two bullfighters and the widow of a matador killed in the ring as candidates.

Vox has recruited four retired military generals, including two who signed a manifesto against the Socialist government’s plan to exhume the remains of the dictator Franco from his colossal mausoleum outside Madrid.

Several Catalan politicians in custody while on trial for rebellion are also running, with the campaign including televised press conferences from prison by Catalonia’s former vice-president, Oriol Junqueras, and by Jordi Sànchez, candidate for the JxCAT party of self-exiled former Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont.  

Post-election negotiations will inevitably be made even more complex by regional and local elections in May, leading to a potential spider’s web of multiple coalition deals being thrashed out across Spain.

Not that many Spaniards may care. During the almost year-long political paralysis of 2016 the economy continued to improve and unemployment fell by two percentage points.



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