Spain’s Recent Election: Navigating the Labyrinth of a Frankenstein Political Alliance

By: Manuel Ostos

In the aftermath of Spain’s recent general election, the country faces a unique challenge in forming a new government. The Popular Party (PP), representing the conservative right, emerged as the winner. Still, it lacks sufficient votes from other parties to secure a parliamentary majority in the Congress of Deputies. On the other hand, Pedro Sánchez, the leader of the Socialist Party (PSOE) and the second-highest vote-getter, has managed to build a coalition called the “Frankenstein list.” This coalition comprises various groups, including Catalan and Basque independentists, pro-ETA factions, and other minor parties that collectively form a parliamentary majority.

Despite securing the chance to govern again, Sánchez’s coalition faces challenges. The independentists, who seek greater autonomy for Catalonia and the Basque Country, will likely demand concessions in exchange for their support. This could lead to debates over sensitive issues, such as amnesty for certain political figures and demands for a self-determination referendum, which would be deemed unconstitutional.

The idea of a “Frankenstein government” has left many Spaniards concerned. It is seen as an unconventional arrangement that may not necessarily represent the majority’s will. Some fear that the coalition’s formation will lead to a contentious and difficult term for Pedro Sánchez, regardless of the celebratory mood at Moncloa Palace.

The parties supporting Sánchez’s government include those with divergent views on fundamental matters, such as the unity of Spain and the condemnation of past terrorist activities by the ETA. This coalition formation seems to push the boundaries of traditional political rules, and its impact on the nation’s conscience and common sense is a matter of concern for many citizens.

In most democratic countries, bipartisanship is the norm, with two major parties alternating power based on the majority’s will. However, Spain’s situation is different, as the system necessitates forming alliances with smaller parties that may not have significant popular support. This has led to a complicated political landscape, resembling a labyrinth where finding a clear exit seems challenging.

On August 17, the newly elected Congress of Deputies will convene, and investing in the new head of government will commence. Pedro Sánchez must navigate the intricacies of building and maintaining his coalition, compromising with various factions to secure their continued support. This may involve making politically difficult decisions and accepting demands that may not sit well with all Spaniards.

As the French philosopher Geoffroy de Lagasnerie remarked, “Politics is the art of the impossible.” Spain’s recent election outcome perfectly exemplifies this sentiment. It is evident that in pursuing power and governance, political parties may find themselves making unexpected alliances and concessions. However, it remains to be seen how the current coalition will fare in addressing the diverse concerns and interests of the Spanish people over the next four years.

In conclusion, Spain’s recent election has brought to light the complexities of its political system, where the formation of a government necessitates strategic alliances with smaller parties. The “Frankenstein government” led by Pedro Sánchez reflects the art of the impossible in contemporary politics. As the coalition faces challenges and compromises, the Spanish people will closely observe the decisions made and their impact on the nation’s future. It is indeed a labyrinthine journey that lies ahead, with uncertain twists and turns shaping Spain’s political landscape.