Spanish prime minister Pedro Sánchez during an electoral campaign meeting in Santandar, Spain, 22 May 2023. EFE/ Román G. Aguilera

Spain’s PM Sánchez calls July snap general election after poor results in local ballot

Madrid, May 29 (EFE).- Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez on Monday announced he was calling snap general elections in July after his ruling socialist party’s poor results in local elections over the weekend.

Spanish prime minister Pedro Sánchez during an electoral campaign meeting in Zaragoza, Spain, 18 May 2023.. EFE/ Javier Cebollada

Pedro Sánchez told reporters the call for fresh elections would be formally published on Tuesday after he had already alerted the head of state, King Felipe VI.

“Spaniards should take to the floor, speak out without delay to define the political course of the country,” Sánchez said during a press conference in Madrid’s Moncloa Palace.

General elections were to be held in late December but have now been slated for Sunday, July 23.

The PM said he had called a meeting of his coalition government cabinet, which comprises Sánchez’s PSOE party and the left-wing Unidas Podemos suit, for Monday afternoon.

Sánchez told reporters that the general election had been brought forward due to the results in Sunday’s municipal elections which saw the PSOE suffer heavy losses and the conservative Popular Party (PP) gain much ground.

Sanchez’s appearance was the first since the election results were announced and took place shortly before he met with the executive of the socialist party.

The leader of the PP, Alberto Núñez Feijóo, had warned on social media shortly before the announcement that “soon we will celebrate another electoral night” in Spain.

The announcement comes a few weeks before Spain is to assume the rotating presidency of the European Union for the second half of the year.

The PP garnered the most support on Sunday, with almost seven million votes, 1.7 million more than in the 2019 municipal and regional elections. EFE