Basque Country – Present-day political dynamics

ETA’s permanent ceasefire (2010-2011) opened the possibility of new governmental alliances and has enabled EH Bildu’s electoral success and rise to governmental institutions (Gipuzkoa, and capital city Donostia, 2011–2015). In the 2012 Basque parliamentary election, the PNV obtained a plurality of the votes, followed by the left-wing nationalist coalition EH Bildu (Eusko Alkartasuna, Sortu, Alternatiba).

In 2016 the Basque regional election was held on 25 September to elect the 11th Parliament of the Basque Autonomous Community, which left a hung parliament, with the combination of Basque nationalist parties (PNV and EH Bildu) representing the largest wedge in the parliament of the Basque Autonomous Community, the main Spanish parties PP and PSOE’s branches occupying a 24% of the seats, and Podemos – Ahal Dugu accounting for 11 seats (14,66% of the total). However, the leading party PNV renewed its traditional alliance with the PSE to form government.

During the 2017 Catalan referendum crisis, the parliament showed its sympathy and support to the Catalan independence referendum and lashed out at the Spanish government’s stance on the issue, denouncing any measures it may take against the vote or ‘democracy’ altogether. Besides supporting the vote, Basques of this community showed a preference for further self-government (43,5%), with independence and present-day status quo ranking as second and third options (22,6% and 18,9%). In 2016, the parliament of the autonomous community passed a Police Abuses Act spanning the period between 1978 and 1999; it was shortly repealed after being challenged by the public prosecutor and appealed also by virtually all police and Civil Guard unions. Incoming Spanish premier Pedro Sánchez agreed to lift the public prosecutor’s block on the law in exchange for altering its content. Right-wing parties in Spain, Vox, PP, and Ciudadanos, sent one MP out of 18 to the Spanish Congress from this autonomous community in the 2019 November general election in contrast with their rise and important presence in the overall Spanish results.

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