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Moreno announces June regional election in Andalucia

Photo by Junta de Andalucia

by Maria Jesus Corrales

The Partido Popular President of the Junta de Andalucia, Juan Manuel Moreno, yesterday announced a regional election for June 19, in what will be seen as a first litmus test at the polls following a change of leadership in the national party.

The election will also offer insight into the distance between the PP and the far-right party Vox ahead of a general election in 2023.

Mr Moreno, who was elected on December 2, 2018, and leads the first PP administration in the region’s history, confirmed the decision last night at a press conference after a meeting of the regional government’s Cabinet.

His term in office has been dominated by the response to the Covid-19 pandemic, during which public funds enabled investment in the region’s already overstretched health services, one of the key factors that led to the PSOE’s defeat at the ballot box in 2018.

The PP had initially intended to remain in office until at least October but brought forward the decision to ensure approval of the regional budget, which is currently stalled.

Mr Moreno is also seeking to capitalise on voter sentiment, with recent polls showing increased support after Alberto Nuñez Feijoo took over from Pablo Casado as party leader.

A recent poll by Nc Report for La Razon newspaper, conducted between April 18 and 22, placed the PP with close to a 55-seat absolute majority in the regional parliament, an increase of between 19 and 21 MPs.

A key factor for this election will be the gap between the PP and the far-right party Vox, which also garnered increased support in recent months.

With sufficient backing, the PP might be able to avoid a situation such as the one in Castilla y Leon, where the two parties formed a coalition government.

According to the poll, while support for the PP has increased, so too has backing for Vox against a backdrop of less interest in the PSOE.

The June election could see a new regional parliament in place by early July.

MPs will then have to elect a president and, if the votes permit, a new regional government would be in place by August.

That would allow for a 2023 budget debate before October.

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